Do the RC’s and Greek Orthodox own the fathers?

A lot of people seem to think so.  Quite a few seem to imagine anyone interested in the Fathers must be One Of Them, or else on the road there by imperceptible degress.  “On Being Protestant” at Dunelm Road leads us to “Why I am not a Catholic or East Orthodox“, by Scot McKnight.  He’s bang on, too.  Not all who say “Lord, Lord…”


8 thoughts on “Do the RC’s and Greek Orthodox own the fathers?

  1. I wouldn’t claim, as an Orthodox, that I “own” the Fathers, but I strongly claim that I belong to the same Church as they belonged to, share in the same Faith and Mysteries, which cannot be said of, say “The First Baptist Church of …” down the road.

  2. I too as a Latin Catholic accept that I belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church you are being anachronistic. Roman Catholic is a term invented in the 19th Century to distinguish Anglo- Catholics from Latin

  3. I would not say that Catholic and Orthodox Christians “own” the Fathers, but perhaps it might be said that to a higher degree the Fathers own them. In that I mean they have actually paid attention to the Fathers’ writings and deemed it important to coincide to some degree with them theologically. The same may have been said of Anglcians to a lesser degree – at least until recently. Evangelicals have not had a stake in the Fathers mainly because until very recently they showed very little interest in them or taking their witness seriously. Thankfully this situation has been changing as of late but I’m not sure whether the net result will be a renewal of the mind within Evangelicalism or just Catholic and Orthodox converts.

  4. RE Perhaps you would tell me what term I should use to refer to Roman Catholics, then?

    I’d recommend just using the term Catholic.

    Catholic Christians generally self-identify as just that “Catholic.” In the Catholic Church there are Western Rite and Eastern Rite churches. On the western side is the Roman, or Latin, rite of the Church. On the eastern side is the Antiochian/Syriac rite, the Byzantine rite (Armenian & Byzantine), and the Alexandrian rite. Within each of these there are additional groupings. The Roman rite is only one rite in the Catholic Church. It is the largest group within the Church, to be sure, but it is still only one rite.

    This article provides some more details:

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