Catholic Rant!

July 17, 2007 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

 Well, my shorts are in a knot! The Roman Catholic Church has again asserted its primacy. Just when you think the last assertion has faded away and humanity is progressing to a more enlightened level, the enormous Roman dinosaur rears its head, snorts fire and stumbles back off towards the dark. What a shame. The prayers of millions of people, both Roman Catholic and others are dashed. Society is to set its hourglass back to the dark ages complete with males only (or men in dresses as Bishop Spong would say) interpreting a literal bible in a language incomprehensible to most followers.

Don’t they know that the church is a living, growing thing? It has been growing since the days that one or more early humans mused about the world and why we are here. Since then, the Spirit has moved humans of all races to develop systems of morality based upon the authority of some perceived inward knowledge that was expressed in terms of an outward superior being that we are unable to fully comprehend. Over millennia humanity has wrestled with this concept to the stage that we are at today; contemplating a true universal “church” encompassing all of humanity. The current action by the Roman Church spurns that future and heads backward instead to those glorious ancient times based on the words recorded in Matthew 16:18 “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.”

This quote attributed to Jesus is of much interest to me. I’m not aware of how the Jesus Seminar views this passage and I know there is no direct translation for “church” in Hebrew/Aramaic. However, my suspicion is that Jesus never said those words. I would be very suspicious indeed if they appeared in Mark since the Gospel of Mark is considered by some to be heavily inspired or authored by Peter, but they appear in Matthew!. My thought is that Peter planted these words with the author of Matthew as a political move toward making him the head of the movement known as The Way. I am encouraged that Mark, the supposed first gospel; then Luke, who supposedly researched more than the others; and then John who seems to have mostly relied on his own thoughts and experiences, include this story but not this snippet. Matthew stands alone here for some reason.

The politics of the first 300 years of the church resulted in the male centric institution that required people to submit to a dictated interpretation of chosen texts in a strange language. Communion and forgiveness was only through a medium (a representative of Peter). Giving money or talents to the church ensured salvation. This is what became known as the Roman Catholic Church (Catholic merely means universal). These corrupted conditions sparked the Protestant Reformation, a giant leap in enlightenment. The early Roman Church history along with the various scandals that infested the church over time, including today, makes me question the legitimacy of this church at all. Now, rather than move towards enlightenment and brother/sisterhood, the leaders have declared their preference for stubbornness and isolation. I believe that the Emerging Church is poised to become the next giant leap in enlightenment. Our brothers in Rome are throwing stumbling blocks in this path.

I am glad to have David Giuliano as Moderator of the United Church of Canada. His thoughtful and measured response to this issue on behalf of the United Church is the correct one. Yes, The Spirit must be disappointed in my attitude but I cannot accept any one group usurping my Creator.

There are millions of lay people, orders of the religious and even the priesthood who lament the stance of the Roman Church leaders. They find spiritual connection and solace in the rituals of their church and so they continue. More power to them. My prayer is for these brothers and sisters: May the Creating Spirit fill the hearts and minds of their leadership that we may all grow to be One. Amen.


Entry filed under: Wrestling With God.

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