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And Rosta wrote:

> How come the Chomro believe this. Aren't they Roman Catholics? Is this
> a manifestation of their Roman Catholicism?

Well, technically they are Uniate Catholics, which means that they acknowledge
the authority of the Pope but use their own rite and traditions.  Greek Uniates,
for example, have always used a Greek rite and were allowed married priests
(though not remarried ones).  As part of this, though there is a Primate of All
Cambria (not, needless to say, a giant gibbon), the functional role of bishops is
assumed by abbots -- a heritage from the Celtic Christian past.

Historically, Uniate churches arise when a group within a competing non-Roman
variant of Christianity wishes to gain independence from its hierarchy.
The Ukrainian Catholic Church, for example, was and is an expression of
Ukrainian nationalism as against Russia: forcibly merged with the Russian
Orthodox Church by Stalin, it reaffirmed its loyalty to the Pope with the
emergence of the Ukrainian state in 1991.  The details of each particular
Uniate arrangement are highly variable, and an intensely political compromise.

In the Kemrese case, Celtic Christianity was strongly defended by the Irish and
Kemrese proto-states; Uniacy was a compromise that ended a schism.

> > It is a gift of God, nothing less than a sacrament and should be treasured.
>
> Could you explain what exactly a sacrament is? With a theological-type
> answer, I mean, not a lexicographical-type one.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia, which has no canonical status but is generally accepted
as a good summary of Roman doctrine, defines a sacrament thus:

        An outward sign of inward grace, a sacred and mysterious sign or
        ceremony, ordained by Christ, by which grace is conveyed to our
        souls.

Peter Lombard (fl. 12th century) defined a sacrament thus:

        Sacramentum proprie dicitur quod ita signum est gratiae Dei,
        ei invisibilis gratiae forma, ut ipsius imaginem gerat et causa
        existat

        A sacrament is in such a manner an outward sign of inward grace
        that it bears its image (i.e. signifies or represents it)
        and is its cause.

In other words, a sacrament in the full sense is not just a *symbol* of grace,
but actually *causes* changes in the real world: it is a performative.

The specifically Roman list of sacraments is: Baptism, Confirmation,
Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony.
Protestant churches usually recognize only Baptism and Holy Eucharist,
on the grounds that these were specifically and in detail instituted
by Christ, whereas the others were (according to the Catholic view)
prescribed by him only "in genere" rather than in detail.

The article from which this information comes
(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13295a.htm) also contains the following
very interesting paragraph, showing that the Kemrese viewpoint is not
at all un-Catholic:

        Taking the word "sacrament" in its broadest sense, as the sign
        of something sacred and hidden (the Greek word is "mystery"),
        we can say that the whole world is a vast sacramental system,
        in that material things are unto men the signs of things
        spiritual and sacred, even of the Divinity.  "The heavens show
        forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work
        of his hands" (Ps. xviii, 2). "The invisible things of him
        [i.e. God], from the creation of the world, are clearly seen,
        being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power
        also, and divinity" (Rom., i, 20).

--

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