1.3.5 The Church as Body of Christ

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  • The Church as the Body of Christ
    • Divergent views
      • Catholic Christians
        • Accept authority of the Pope. Believe the Pope is the head of the Church.
        • The Pope rules and guides the church to pass on the true teachings of Jesus.
      • Orthodox Christians
        • Believe they follow the right beliefs and teachings of the Church.
        • Reflect authority of the Pope. They believe authority comes from councils of bishops or Patriarchs acting together.
      • Protestant Churches
        • Christians are all equal and all are priests.
        • Pope has no authority to decide on beliefs.
        • The Church should be ruled democratically.
        • The Bible is the sole authority.
    • Importance
      • The Church is carrying out the work of Christ.
      • It is supported by the New Testament and the Catechism.
      • It shows each of us have different tasks but are still united.
      • Christ did not leave the earth at his ascension, he remains here physically through the Church and so is with us today.
      • Christians form one body and so we are united with each other and Christ.
    • How people work as the body of Christ.
      • To provide Charity together. To bring his love to others, eg CAFOD.
      • People may participate in public Christian Witnesses eg carrying the cross through the streets on Good Friday.
      • Christians from different denominations may meet to pray in different areas.
    • SOWA
      • "For as one body we have many members and not all members have the same function so we, who are the many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members of one another. We have gifts that differ according to the Grace given to us." (Romans 12:4-6)
    • Church as people of God
      • Comes from Baptism
      • Everybody belongs to one body, one faith.
      • God loves all people no matter their religion.
    • What does it mean?
      • Jesus is the head. He has the ideas and tells the body what to do. He sends messages to the body. Normal Catholics (the laity) are the body. They carry out the work the head wants us to do.
      • Christians are united with each other and with Christ through Baptism, making them members of Christs body.
      • The head and body are independent and neither is superior so there should be no division in the body.




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