Tuesday, April 19, 2005

We will get used to this, eventually.

Benedict XVI presented to the crowd at St. Peter's Square.


Deborah said...

Well, the numeral XVI has not done too well in European history. Good thing he didn't go with Louis. :)
I'm interested in Benedict -- he was quite a moderate and is used in study by many denominations.
I also find it interesting from other postings here that those who are not completely enamoured of the new Pope are called "Catholics." Those quotation marks seem to indicate that they are not faithful, when in fact they may be just as faithful but simply wanted a different or even slightly different direction for the church, or simply had a favourite for the vacancy.
If differing opinions are frowned upon or even considered to be heresy on such an issue, it leaves me saddened for those being marginalized by others who see themselves as the true Catholics. What do you all think? I realize this is a conservative site, but I'm hoping those with different views will let me hear their voices, too.
And I have to admit, as a member of the United Church of Canada, it makes me very grateful for Martin Luther. :)
Interesting sidebar: Andy did a major theological study at seminary where he argued, as others have since done, that Luke was a woman named Lucretia. Luke discusses women's issues more than anyone else in Scripture, both in her/his Gospel and in Acts. S/He is strong in defining the role of women as leaders, equal to male their male counterparts,in terms of leading and holding services,writing about women's roles in a way that is much the same as the role of women in other faiths and Christian denominations today. And a relatively new, more accurate translation of a key passage in the Bible changes Julius to Julia. Praise be for new light shed by dedicated, scholarly editors!

3:09 PM

Therese Z said...

Is it shocking to claim the obvious, that men and women are equal but that they have different roles in life? Modern scholars who want to change Luke's gender (a new one on me! where's their proof?) and get all bent out of shape over Junia, who may or may not have been female, will have to contend with two thousand years of scholarship that says differently. They so rarely have any scholarly proof (ancient texts, for example, or somebody with "St." as their first name who wrote about it 1000 years ago) to bear out their theories, which would help them be more convincing.

It's history viewed through today's opinions, isn't it? Sort of a theological Darwinism: yesterday's opinions are so simple, so unevolved, today's ideas are ALWAYS better, dontcha know. Which the Church does not agree with, and, for the record, neither do I. That doesn't make me "conservative," it makes me "faithful to Church teachings and Scripture!"

We want a unified Church, a unified Body ("Father, that they may all be one as I am one with You"). There are Catholics all over the map because there are so damn many Catholics. But they don't always want to leave, so it's a struggle among the laity, not between the laity and the truth.

Another American trend: in Protestant Christianity, small, sometimes single-church independent denominations can all agree, because when someone doesn't agree, they just leave and go elsewhere. Debbie, are you in the same church you grew up in? How many times have you switched? Doesn't that make you a little uneasy? That THIS truth is somehow truer than THAT truth, because it agrees with YOUR truth?

I can't tell you what a joy it has been for me to finally recognize that there is one Truth. It is intellectually the most challenging thing I've ever undertaken, to learn God's Will as expressed by thousands of saints, theologians, philosophers and martyrs. And being a part of this ancient and modern Church is the greatest way to be close to Jesus Christ!

Deborah said...

Hi, Therese,
Well, I was born into the United Church, baptised there, went to Sunday school there, confirmed there, married there, taught there, married a man who became a UC minister, faithfully attended and still attend there, so I guess I'm pretty faithful to my denomination.
I don't believe in changing at whim. However, the UC has been ordaining women since the 1920s, when it united the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches in Canada. Some Presbyterians did not join, and are a relatively small bunch today, compared with the UC, which is the top Protestant church here in membership, followed by the Anglicans and Presbyterians.
And though I love and respect Roman Catholics (kisses and hugs to Roz), I also know that mistakes were made of great importance that only in the past while have been amended, ie Capernicus and Galileo. So, while tradition and history are great, sometimes what was accepted unquestioningly was wrong, as modern ideas proved.
I freely acknowledge that I am a liberal Christian, because that is my faith tradition.
I realize I have no standing in the RC church, but I like to debate. :) I've learned a lot about different liturgies on this blog, and follow the postings every now and again.
It's because Popes have such great cause and effect on various parts of the world that I like to get engaged in these discussions. I grant that the moderator of the United Church, who serves only three years, does not have that kind of pulpit or notion of infallibility, so there's no reason for you to be following events the same way in my church.
Still, I think the dialogue is worthwhile. I often mentally put myself in different faiths and decide where I'd likely fit in.
I'd be a Reform Jew (I have Jewish family ancestors from Germany) and a liberal RC.
I respect your choices and your personal faith journey. I simply am on a different one. And I believe God loves us both the same.

Deborah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Therese Z said...

Thank you for your reply. It's good that you've been in the same denom all your life. So many have not, I'm sure you'll agree. I get weirded out by people who say "well, I was brought up Lutheran, but then I went to the Presbyterian Church for awhile, but we didn't like the pastor, so now we're......" Sigh.

You made an extremely important statement: "I realize I have no standing in the RC church..." Oh, yes you do! We believe that there is only one Church, that Jesus did not say "Upon this rock I will build my churchES." With that in mind, we understand that all Christians should be united and that the RCC understands that under the umbrella of the Church there are "separated brethren" with whom we share the glory of the Lord, but are missing out on the full joy of communion with the Lord.

That is not condescension; it's sorrow at the separation. I wish I could share with every Christian the joy of the Eucharist. They'd fall so head over heels in love they wouldn't know what to do with themselves!

Differing opinions kept in separate heads, silently, are not good. Please continue to offer (with charity and as much scholarship as you can get together) why your different opinion still fits within the teaching of Scripture and the historical Church. I sense you're not a whiner - thank God - so I want to hear what you have to say.

Deborah said...

Good afternoon, Therese,
I will certainly post here from time to time. I know the doctrinal differences are large, but I love taking Communion and see it as a special way to feel God's love through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Because the Christian church was changed centuries before my birth, I don't see the RCC as being the only official historical church. At the time, my family on one side was Jewish, converting long after the Reformation because of pogroms and other acts of persecution, and Judaism certainly has its own take on religious history and tradition.
Even the RCC has changed positions during its long history: marriage of priests certainly was allowed for centuries, and papal infallibility has been a relatively modern concept.
And the popes of medieval Europe often were as bloodthirsty and devious as the monarchs around them. That's just the way things were then. One paper here did a little box on the previous Benedicts, and a couple were scoundrels, it seems. But as I say, history is not perfection. If it were, we'd still have official slavery and discrimination and abuse on grounds of creed, colour, nationality etc.
One of the main ideas of the Reformation that I particularly like is the notion that Christians were given the opportunity to approach God and know the Bible without having the intervention of clergy. At that time, only a small percentage of Christians knew Latin, because most were uneducated. Such a personal relationship with God was not common then.
I happen to love Latin and took as much of it in high school as possible. It certainly has aided my career in journalism, as have the other languages I've studied. Just the simple knowledge of entymology is priceless to one who edits and writes.
I seem to have strayed somewhat from the topic of posting, but I do promise to visit every now and again and comment where I deem it appropriate. And I don't make any assumptions about your personal faith journey and certainly would never denigrate or insult you, nor would I do that to the Pope. I may dissent, but it will never be rude. I do hope you believe that. Roz will tell you, I hope, that I have strong opinions, but I don't overstep boundaries on a personal level. That is a large sin.
All that being said, I loved the B16 reference. I also heard a young U.S. Catholic being interviewed on TV refer to the new Pope as Big Ben. I wonder how long it will be before that tag appears in a British tabloid?



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