Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Protestant or Catholic: Anglicans must decide

Hey, I'm working on it. . . but the jury's still out in my house. We'll get there, we're just not sure where yet. (But we're leaning heavily towards looking at the fruit of the Holy Spirit to help us discern - and we ain't seein' it in ECUSA.)

From Ruth Gledhill:

Hard words for Anglicans from the head of the Council for Christian Unity in Rome. Cardinal Walter Kasper has told the Catholic Herald that now, with Lambeth approaching, is the time for Anglicans to decide whether they are Catholic or Protestant. 'Ultimately, it is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong?' he said. 'Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic and Orthodox - or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the 16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain difficult decisions.' The genius of Anglicanism has always been its ability to straddle the divide, but maybe the Cardinal is right and the Communion's present difficulties reflect the impossibility of continuing to do this. . .

I wonder how much the Catholics understand, however, that the Anglo-Catholics who might be the ones most naturally tempted towards Catholicism are not really where the present dissent stems from. Most of those who were going to go over have already gone, over women priests. . .

I don't necessarily agree with Ruth on this (about those tempted towards Catholicism having already left), since so many of us (myself included) had not really had a reason to think through much of what we grew up with until we realized that our church was no longer on a biblical path, but read it all.
H/t to Stand Firm.

3 comments:

Hening said...

I grew up in the Catholic Church, and left before the sex scandals. Our parish was dealing with Gay priests going on Gay retreats, a Gay porno site for priests, and men that just were not fit to lead a congregation. It was painful to reach that conclusion, but growing up is hard to do.

Feeling that I had been called to serve Christ, I was a married man with four children and had gone as far as I could as a "lay person" within the church structure. It started to smell like Pharasis to me. Why is being a married heterosexual with a supportive wife and four great kids an impediment?

My family joined the Episcopal Church, where I was invited to go through discernment to become a deacon. Instead, I was told at the end of the year and a half process that the priesthood was where I belonged by the church committee. I decided to attend a Baptist seminary since all of the problems were now in full swing in the Episcopal Church.

The Catholic Church's theology is now outside of my understanding of Christ's church. The Episcopal Church is truly a wonderful home, but our congregation has not been touched by all the secular nonsense yet. I can say from years of experience that the Catholic Church has it's own issues, especially in this country. It's hit or miss just like the Episcopal parishes.

Anne Coletta said...

You're right, Hening, the Catholic church (and any church) will have their own problems. My problem with the Episcopal Church is that the leadership is condoning, by word and deed, heresy - by joining at the national level the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (advocates abortion all nine months), dismissing God's Word as it relates to the ordering of families, etc. As bad as the Catholics are in overlooking issues and being poor shepherds, they have never condoned the clergy abuse, etc. So I look at the fruits of the human institutions. Maybe it's because I'm in a revisionist diocese that I just can't take it anymore in ECUSA.

Hening said...

Anne,

You are correct about the situation being upside down from the other. As the head of a pro-life ministry at a Catholic Church, I had only three loyal souls that would show up for meetings. There was almost a riot when I put pro-life posters in the entrance of the church. Who would have thunk it?

It's an interesting perspective of leadership failing the church, or the church failing leadership. Either way, it can be a real distraction. The Episcopal Church has such a beautiful service, Book of Common Prayer and great people. It also has open arms to those from other denominations. Now it finds itself in the center of spiritual warfare.

I found out about the connection to pro-abortion through your blog. It really didn't come as a surprise. At this point, leadership is the issue, and I pray that there will be a solution to bring the church back to Christ, and His Word.

Michael