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Archbishop calls off Methodist ordinations

By on Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Liverpool Cathedral (Photo: Press Association)

Liverpool Cathedral (Photo: Press Association)

The controversial proposed ordination of Methodist ministers in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral in July has been called off.
On the advice of the Vatican Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool has withdrawn the invitation he gave to the Methodist church last year.
In a statement last week the archbishop said he had always recognised that “the occasion would be a symbol”.

Given “the iconic reality of the Metropolitan Cathedral far beyond Merseyside it would be watched, interpreted, scrutinised quite properly by many. And symbols are dangerous things; they can explode,” he said.

“Every pattern of ordination known to me is at the service of communion and an occasion for profound renewal of the most personal, hidden demands of discipleship. Spotlights, controversy, fear of misinterpretation undermine the prayer and discipleship into which the Spirit would lead us,” Archbishop Kelly said.

The proposed ordination service was roundly attacked by Catholic bloggers earlier this year. One called it “sacrilege”, while others criticised it for the confusion it would bring.

“It might result in people who protest against Catholic truth… conducting a service in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in whose presence they don’t believe,” Ben Trovato wrote on the blog Countercultural Father. He continued: “It might lead people to imagine some equivalence between Methodism and the One True Church founded by Christ.”

Archbishop Kelly gave permission for the ordination service last autumn when he was approached by the Rev James Booth, chairman of the Liverpool Methodist District.

Methodist ordinations take place in conjunction with the annual Methodist Conference. Buildings of other denominations are often used because the Methodist have fewer large churches of their own.

Archbishop Kelly said the event “was not just a question of a large enough venue. It could also be a word about the ecumenical journey to which we have been long committed, which was re-affirmed when Cardinal (Walter) Kasper visited Liverpool at Pentecost in 2010 and yet more powerfully by Pope Benedict during his visit to this island last September.”

But over the last few months, while convalescing following his hip replacement surgery, Archbishop Kelly said he had “time to reflect” on his decision.

“I found myself often wondering if what I had encouraged was inappropriate at this time and a possible scandal in the original meaning of that word, a stumbling block for an ordination and for the ecumenical journey.”

He said he was “not entirely surprised” when learning that “this was the judgment of the Holy Father’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity in their interpretation of the principles set out in the ecumenical directory of that same Pontifical Council”.

Sadly, he said, he would have to withdraw the invitation. “I recognise that this decision will bring pain to some, relief to others, and confusion to many. I am very aware that it gives rise to very practical problems for the Methodists only two months before their ordinations,” he said.
“I can only apologise for any drift for which I am responsible and pledge that I will continue to be as faithful as I have for all the nearly 50 years of my life as a priest to the ecumenical journey to which the Second Vatican Council committed every Roman Catholic,” he said.
Mr Booth said he had been delighted when Archbishop Kelly had agreed to the ordination “in the glorious building that is the Metropolitan Cathedral”.

“There had been careful conversation about how the Methodist ordination service could appropriately and properly be held in the cathedral, honouring and respecting both Roman Catholic and Methodist tradition and understanding, while at the same time affirming the ecumenical journey that we share and the fact that the destination of that journey is not yet reached,” he said.

“To say that I am disappointed that this decision has had to be taken would be an understatement, but it is a decision that I, and the Methodist church, must respect and understand,” he continued.

Referring to Archbishop Kelly as “a colleague and friend” he said he knew it was “a decision he has not taken lightly, but under that discipline of belonging that, as Methodists, I hope we understand”.

The Methodist ordinations will now take place in the Anglican cathedral in Chester.

One of those who had been due to be ordained in the Metropolitan Cathedral, Mark Rowland, said in his blog that the withdrawal of the invitation “reflects the rather colder wind that is now blowing for our ecumenical dialogues and relationships”.

He said: “The 21st century will look very different to the 20th in that regard and it is perhaps regrettable that we did not seize more fully the opportunities that were then available but are now fast slipping away, if they have not already gone.

“If this can be a wake-up call to us all as to the urgency of the ecumenical task then it has the possibility to be a blessing, but I suspect it may simply be a sign of what is to come.”

  • Fr K

    Honestly what a confused person Archbishop Kelly is; and sadly the enormous damage he has done to the Archdiocese of Liverpool. Time you hung up your mitre Archbishop,

  • DB McGinnity

    Well, well your prose denotes that you are definitely a real Ivy League or Fulbright Scholar. (Theology and Moral Philosophy no doubt)

  • Nick

    I don’t speak of the Anglican communion (which is also facing great difficulties, though), but the Episcopal church is in a critical state. This is what goes one there:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otr.cfm?ID=4968

    With that kind of culture of death, is it any wonder that they are collapsing? Their membership is declining at more than 1% per year; sometimes 2.81% per year.

    This is the fate of the “Mainline Protestant” churches – they were 50% of the population in 1950, now they are 18%, and still declining fast.

    It seems that in the near future, Christianity belongs to Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Evangelicals. In the long term, let’s hope for the schism to end.

  • Nick

     If we have “big tent”, “we don’t believe in anything specific” mentality, it wouldn’t make _sense_ to be Catholic.

    There are already many charitable NGOs I can go to participate in human and environmental work.

    There are already many clubs I can go to get social cohesion.

    If we take away Truth from the Catholic Church, it would become a club like any other.

    Fortunately, that will never happen:

    Simon Peter answered him: “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.  And we have believed, and we recognize that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

  • Josephsoleary

    I assure you, Nick, that the Anglican big tent believes in the Gospel, including the words you quote from John 6. I hear the Gospel more richly preached, shared and acted out in works of charity in the Anglican church than in our own church just now. I suppose I was like you when I was your age, but it is time for you to start thinking outside the sectarian box. You asked did I think the pope was a secatarian ignoramus. I do think he must take some responsibility for the way his words have unleashed rabid sectarianism among younger Catholics, something that should be impossible 50 years after Vatican II.

  • Nick

    > I am not nitpicking — this is a well-known theological point.

    Not relevant to what I was saying. I was saying the the Catholic Church teaches orthodox Christianity; if you interpret the Bible so as to allow rape, eugenics, or abortion (for example), or so as to think Jesus was an angel, or so as to think Jesus had literal brothers (biological sons of Mary), you know you got it wrong.

    > Your
    references to the Resurrection and sexual morality are not relevant to
    the protestant-catholic dispute

    What? St Paul said “And if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is useless, and your faith is also useless.” Resurrection is _very_ relevant.

    And voluntary murder is not only a mortal sin, but one of the few sins that cry to Heaven for justice.

    So those people on the “Religious coalition for reproductive choice” have _a lot_ of meditation to do.

    > — all Protestants subscribe to the
    creed

    Manifestly false.

    > “and the Church has never given an official binding interpretation
    of the actual details of the resurrection narratives”

    We know the essentials, such as the fact that Jesus did in fact resurrect (which some liberal Protestants deny, with their theories of “Jesus of history and Jesus of faith” and “resurrection was not a historical event”)

    > “As to
    sexual ethics, the Catholic Church is far more liberal in its handling
    of scriptural ideas thereon than many evangelicals — for instance in
    its allowing divorce.”

    Please read the Catechism on divorce. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P87.HTM
    Numbers 2383, 2384, 2385, 2386

  • Josephsoleary

    Are you really so naive as to take the link you post at face value? Rowan Williams is actually quite outspoken against abortion (though not the kind of extremist you favor). He is also a supremely gifted pastor and theologian; your willingness to carry smears about him is just vile.

     Your numbers game is meaningless; the gospel if preached and practiced well will always attract sufficient numbers. The Catholic Church in the US has lost a third of its baptized members; what conclusion do you draw from that?  The situation is worse in Europe.

    Look, please study some good theology (NOT miserable apologias for the Inquisition and the Crusades — that borders on antisemitism). I recommend, for example, Karl Barth, “Evangelical Theology”. Such reading will bring you joy.

  • Nick

    > The subject is religion, not maths.

    Logic and reason are to be used not only in Mathematics, but in science, philosophy, and certainly religion.

    Read this: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html

    > “Even in maths you will meet apparent
    contradictions that can turn out to be alternative descriptions — at
    least in physics you can have the apple falling to the earth as its
    natural place, or drawn by the earth’s gravitation, or following some
    space-time-gravity trajectory.”

    I won’t speak of Aristotle because I don’t know his theory. But regarding Newton and Einstein: Newton’s theory was incomplete because it didn’t address high speeds or high gravitational fields; it was _wrong_ in these cases (Newton’s contribution is still great).

    In any event, it is possible indeed to describe the same thing by different words. But certain sentences simply cannot be reconciled. Two of them are “Jesus Christ died on a cross” and “Jesus Christ did not die on a cross”. Any attempt to say those sentences are compatible is a frontal assault on human reason.

    > “In any case,
    JP2 taught that God works the salvation of non-Christians primarily
    through their religions.”

    You must either be taking words out of context, or referring to something he said informally. The Catholic teaching is that there may be elements of sanctity in other religions, but every salvation occurs through the merits of the Catholic Church.

  • Nick

     And you seem to downplay the “To the extent that these elements are found”.

    What’s more, they are not “churches”, but ecclesial communities.

    I don’t enter into these conversations with Protestants; but hearing Catholics denying their own supposed faith, because they are afraid of the PC police, saddens me.

  • Josephsoleary

    I corrected you on the Church’s teaching on the other Christian churches, and now you make another bumptious statement that John Paul II cannot have said what he said about the other religions. Really, this makes me worry about your intellectual growth. You will find it quoted in Dominus Iesus (CDF, 2000).

    All religions are more or less rational attempts to scrutinize the ultimate, but they all fall short, even more than Newton did in scrutinizing the universe. Jesus says in John 14 and 16 that we have much, much to learn and must rely on the Spirit to lead us into all truth. I never denied that there are contradictions, but I said they are of minor significance compared with the great truths that bring the churches and even the religions together. You have so many wonderful things to discover, why bunker down in sterile sectarian dogmatism?

  • Nick

    > “But
    as the whole history of philosophy and religion shows, there are many
    APPARENT contradictions that can be overcome”

    “Jesus Christ has died on a cross” x “Jesus Christ has not died on a cross” is not an “apparent” contradiction.

    “abortion is an extremely grave sin” x “abortion is a blessing” is not an “apparent” contradiction.

    > “There are also real contradictions, but they are not
    necessarily deal-breakers”

    They many not be deal breakers for alliance and friendship. If, for example, some evangelical community (who does not believe in Marian doctrine) allies with us for humanitarian work, for pro-life action, or even just for good old friendship (say, a soccer team with Catholics and Evangelicals), I support. But we can never say they are Catholics; and we can never cease to pray for them to become Catholics; and, in the appropriate moments, we cannot be afraid to proselytize.

    > “The Catholic Church embraces thousands of
    contradictory positions within her own bosom.”

    Not in the Magisterium.

  • Nick

    > “You asked did I think the pope was a secatarian ignoramus. I do think he
    must take some responsibility for the way his words have unleashed
    rabid sectarianism among younger Catholics, something that should be
    impossible 50 years after Vatican II.”

    That the Pope is fighting against one of the greatest (perhaps THE greatest) errors of our time – relativism – is wonderful.

    Now, some people may be disrespectful to other religions; that is a tiny minority inspired not by the Pope, but by two fringe crazy extremes – Marcel Lefebvre and Hans Küng.

    Lefebvrists have a conspiratorial “all the modernists are against us! Vatican II was full of freemasons and communists!” mentality that easily leads to disrespect.

    Kungians have a conspiratorial “all the reactionaries are against us! The Holy See is full of Opus Dei! They want to suppress us!” mentality that easily leads to disrespect.

    When both sides meet on the internet, the result is of course bitter. Don’t blame the Pope for that.

  • Josephsoleary

    Nick is very young and has no conception of the evils you and I remember — mixed in with much that was good and holy. Nick sighs for the Inquisition and the Crusades — unaware that this means sighing for antisemitism among other evils.

  • Josephsoleary

    Nick is the sort of young zealot that the indoctrination of JP2 has produced. This gives a chilling picture of how thoroughly the vision of Vatican II has been aborted by the Vatican. Nick, in a functioning Church, would have drunk in the values of Vatican II with his mother’s milk. But a whole generation has been cheated of this privilege.

  • Nick

     I won’t comment on the condescending tone of your comments toward me (which I don’t remember reciprocating, and I will try not to).

    I just say that my vision is based on simple facts

    1) The Church has doctrinal authority, as attested by Holy Scripture
    2) Truth is eternal
    3) As a consequence of #2, we must learn the Truth from the Holy Bible, the Church fathers, the 21 ecumenical councils, and the Catechism. We must not throw it all in the dust bin and retain only Vatican II and a biased interpretation of the Bible. There is no “pre-conciliar Church” different from a supposed “post-conciliar Church”. There is one Church.
    4) I get my catechism from the successors of the apostles in communion with the succcessor of Peter. Not from Hans Küng or Marcel Lefebvre.

  • Josephsoleary

    Condescending indeed, Nick, is the suggestion that one who tries to tell you that Vatican II and John Paul II had something NEW to say about ecumenism and interreligious relations must be throwing the whole past of the Church in the dustbin. Since you were too lazy to look it up, here is the passage from Dominus Iesus, quoting Redemptoris Missio, which says exactly what you so rashly declared the Pope could never say (with the condescending implication that I am incapable of reporting church teaching correctly):

    “Nevertheless, God, who desires to call all peoples to himself in Christ and to communicate to them the fullness of his revelation and love, “does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals, but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches, of which their religions are the main and essential expression even when they contain ‘gaps, insufficiencies and errors’”.27 ” (the sub-quote is from Paul VI)

    In trashing the world’s religions you are trashing the presence of God.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    So, to summarise the comments thus far (omitting all the vitriol, rhetoric, unpleasantness and so on…)

    Those who believe that the RomanCatholic Church is what she proclaims herself to be, believe this proposed ordination in a Catholic Cathedral was a bad idea; those who believe that we are all on a great ecclesial ecumenical journey together, and that any pretensions of superiority by the Roman Catholic Church are erroneous and self-deluding, believe that withdrawing the invitation was a bad idea.

    As Blessed John Henry Newman pointed out, you can believe whatever you choose, but you are responsible for what you choose to believe.

  • Nick

    > Are you really so naive as to take the link you post at face value?
    Rowan Williams is actually quite outspoken against abortion (though not
    the kind of extremist you favor).

    I am not speaking directly of the Church of England – which is also in a quite difficult situation, but better than the chaos of the Episcopal Church.

    It is acceptable in the Episcopal Church to demand abortion on demand and without apology.

    They don’t even hide it. Look for yourself, directly from the horse’s mouth:

    http://www.rcrc.org/about/index.cfm

    http://www.rcrc.org/about/members.cfm

    How do you explain the links above?

    > “The Catholic Church in the US
    has lost a third of its baptized members”

    Where did you get that number from? 23% of the American population identifies as Catholic.

    The situation for Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Evangelicals  – Christians who still really believe in Jesus – is absolutely better than the situation of the “mainline protestant”, which is not only declining, but downright collapsing int the US. Noting that they went from 50% to 18% in a few decades, and are still hemorrhaging, is not a “numbers game”; it is the cold reality.

    Please read this:

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Are-Evangelicals-the-New-Mainline?offset=0&max=1

    > Look, please
    study some good theology

    I take my Catechism from the Holy See, and from people who support the Holy See. “The Faith Explained” and “More than many sparrows”, by Leo Trese; the Catechism; papal encyclicals; and materials from my parish and from good friends.

    > NOT miserable apologias for the Inquisition
    and the Crusades

    The material I suggest you is not “miserable” and not an “apologia”. What reason to you have to say that?

    > “that borders on antisemitism”

    With due respect, that was just ridiculous. Did you even read the book I suggested, before you make that charge? Reductio ad hitlerum is a very poor fallacy.

  • Nick

    http://www.rcrc.org/about/faq.cfm#faq6

    These people are so blindly pro-abortion that they even oppose parental notification laws

    http://www.rcrc.org/news/Westfox_Testimony_Re_Crisis_Pregnancy_Centers.cfm

    They also hate crisis pregnancy centers

    And here http://www.rcrc.org/issues/medright_ultrasound_one.cfm
    they say “No action has been taken against crisis pregnancy centers that freely
    use sonograms for their propaganda and evangelical purposes, ”

    They don’t want women to see their babies before deciding to kill them!

    Seriously, josehpsoleary. Can you be so blind by political correctness that you refuse to acknowledge that dismembering babies and incinerating their bodies in heinous? And that organizations that support it cannot call themselves Christian?

    The Catholic Church has duly proclaimed that “Catholics for Choice” is not only not Catholic, but frontally opposed to what the Church teaches. Some dioceses have excommunicated everyone who participates in it.

    The Episcopal Church, on the other hand, is itself a member of rcrc!

    Jesus!

  • DB McGinnity

    I assume that you have never attended any type of Protestant service and that you have never been to a Mosque, Synagogue, Hindu or Buddhist temple. You have no first hand knowledge or experience of other religious services or what goes on there, yet you vehemently pontificate about matters that you evidently know nothing whatsoever about. This is just zealous veneer without any depth of knowledge. I imagine that you know little or nothing about uterine miscarriage, or termination of pregnancy or any clinical criteria about gynaecological or obstetric matters, yet you still express opinions and second hand statistics to support you obvious misinformation. It is clear that you have no depth of understanding of doctrinal knowledge and you repeat and regurgitate anecdotal information that is without any substance. Clearly you are conditioned in tunnel vision with no concept whatsoever of lateral thinking, and you seem to rely on what you have heard or read in some catholic newspapers to control your life. It is a very sad situation to be so narrow minded and to be so frightened to experience all aspects of human life to the full. What if there is no life hereafter and you have missed out on all the worldly fun and games?

  • Nick

    >”vehemently pontificate [...] evidently know nothing whatsoever [...] zealous veneer without any depth of knowledge [...] you
    know little or nothing [...] obvious misinformation [...] no depth
    of understanding [...] repeat and regurgitate
    anecdotal information [...] without any substance [...]
    conditioned in tunnel vision [...] control your life [...] narrow minded [...] frightened”

    As much as you disagree with what I’ve said, I tried to say it with respect. I have tried not to talk about your person. I have avoided insults.

    You, however, disavow logic and reasonable debate, and concentrate on insulting me personally.

    I am curious about why do you do this; flinging insults will only hurt your side. Therefore it is hardly rational.

    And I refuse to answer your personal insults.

    A piece of popular wisdom:

    “Great people talk about ideas.
    Average people talk about things.
    Small people talk about other people.”

  • Fat Prophet

    The comments on this thread make for very sad reading given that Jesus when talking about the commandments said the second commandment was to love one another – I see very little love in many of the remarks made here. 
    I think that John chapter 11 verse 35 might apply to this situation.

  • Nick

    Again, please refrain from a condescending tone.

    And I have read Dominus Iesus from top to bottom. Of course, to understand the document you should read it in whole. But some quick quotation of direct relevance:

    Such dialogue certainly does not replace, but rather accompanies the missio
    ad gentes.If it is true that the followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it
    is also certain that objectively speaking
    they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the
    Church, have the fullness of the means of salvation.92

    5.  As a remedy for this
    relativistic mentality, which is becoming ever more common, it is necessary
    above all to reassert the definitive and complete character of the revelation of
    Jesus Christ. In fact, it must be firmly
    believed that, in the mystery of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, who
    is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn
    14:6), the full revelation of divine truth is given: “No one knows the Son
    except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom
    the Son wishes to reveal him” (Mt
    11:27); “No one has ever seen God; God the only Son, who is in the bosom of
    the Father, has revealed him” (Jn
    1:18); “For in Christ the whole fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form”
    (Col 2:9-10).

    Above
    all else, it must be firmly believed
    that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one
    Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body
    which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and
    baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the
    Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”

    Indeed, the Church, guided by charity and respect for freedom,98 must
    be primarily committed to proclaiming to all people the truth definitively
    revealed by the Lord, and to announcing the necessity of conversion to Jesus
    Christ and of adherence to the Church through Baptism and the other sacraments,
    in order to participate fully in communion with God, the Father, Son and Holy
    Spirit. Thus, the certainty of the universal salvific will of God does not
    diminish, but rather increases the duty and urgency of the proclamation of
    salvation and of conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Salvation is found in the truth

    Of course, one must read the entire document. But the quotations above make it clear that Catholic ecumenism has nothing to do with religious relativism or indifferentism.

  • Nick

    [writing here an answer for Josephsoleary]Again, please refrain from a condescending tone.

    And I have read Dominus Iesus from top to bottom. Of course, to
    understand the document you should read it in whole. But some quick
    quotation of direct relevance:

    Such dialogue certainly does not replace, but rather accompanies the missio
    ad gentes

    If it is true that the followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it
    is also certain that objectively speaking
    they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the
    Church, have the fullness of the means of salvation.92

    5.  As a remedy for this
    relativistic mentality, which is becoming ever more common, it is necessary
    above all to reassert the definitive and complete character of the revelation of
    Jesus Christ. In fact, it must be firmly
    believed that, in the mystery of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, who
    is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn
    14:6), the full revelation of divine truth is given: “No one knows the Son
    except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom
    the Son wishes to reveal him” (Mt
    11:27); “No one has ever seen God; God the only Son, who is in the bosom of
    the Father, has revealed him” (Jn
    1:18); “For in Christ the whole fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form”
    (Col 2:9-10).

    Above
    all else, it must be firmly believed
    that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one
    Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body
    which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and
    baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the
    Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”

    Indeed, the Church, guided by charity and respect for freedom,98 must
    be primarily committed to proclaiming to all people the truth definitively
    revealed by the Lord, and to announcing the necessity of conversion to Jesus
    Christ and of adherence to the Church through Baptism and the other sacraments,
    in order to participate fully in communion with God, the Father, Son and Holy
    Spirit. Thus, the certainty of the universal salvific will of God does not
    diminish, but rather increases the duty and urgency of the proclamation of
    salvation and of conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Salvation is found in the truth

    Of
    course, one must read the entire document. But the quotations above
    make it clear that Catholic ecumenism has nothing to do with religious
    relativism or indifferentism.

     

  • Nick

    Your quotation does not contradict my thinking.

    And, after reading the document from top to bottom, I have just confirmed my ideas. This is no surprise, since I formed my ideas primarily through orthodox books, Holy See documents and homilies by orthodox priests.

    Now, of course, the document does not condone my personal mistake of spending too much time on the internet – I have the “wait, someone is wrong on the Internet” obsession. I must control this, and use my time in more fruitful ventures – such as praying, catechizing and helping my neighbors.

    But the _substance_ of what I’m saying is supported by Dominus Iesus and other Church teaching (as far as I can see).

    Anyway, speaking of obsession, let’s call and end to this discussion? We are not going to change each other’s minds.

    Let’s do something far more useful – pray for Christian unity and the conversion of mankind.

    God bless you!

  • Bwaj

    I am a Catholic like you Trovato and find your arrogance disgusting. How dare you imply members of other Christian denominations do not have a measure of the Catholic Faith. Where in ‘the Catholic Creeds’ does it say salvation comes through Rome or the Pope? Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Who is God and water Baptism (St. Mk:16.16). Canons 3-4 of ‘The Council of Trent’ (‘Canons on Baptism’) state any Catholic who refuses to accept as valid the Baptism of non-Catholic Christians if performed with water ‘”in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”‘ are anathema from the Catholic Church. So are you daring to say non-Catholic Christians are not baptized or saved?

  • Bwaj

    Methodists, like Anglicans, Orthodox and Lutherans accept ‘The Apostles’
    Creed’ and ‘The Nicene Creed’ which refer to ‘the Catholic Church’ and
    ‘Baptism’. It is not for you or the Pope to say who has valid 
    Sacraments. The only Ordination given to St. Peter (the Pope) and the
    Apostles is in St. Jn: 20.20-23. Anglicans have since 1550 ordained
    priests with sufflation, the laying-on of hands and the words of Our
    divine Lord in St. Jn:20.20-23. There was never any ‘Tradition of the
    Instruments’ as claimed by Aquinas. Pope Pius XII I believe said Aquinas
    got that wrong. I’ll look up the quote. I do not as you can tell accept ‘Apostolicae Curae’. I didn’t as an Anglo-Catholic 20 years ago and I still don’t. Anglican Orders are recognized as valid by the Orthodox Church and we recognize their Orders.
     

     

  • Bwaj

    There are two main reasons why the Orthodox are debating no longer recognizing Anglican Orders, not those previously Ordained I imagine, that is the Ordination of women and the Ordination of practising homosexuals.

  • Bwaj

    Let’s get one thing clear. No pope has ever or will ever apologize for the Crusades nor should they. Those who say this are those in organizations like the SSPX or who claim the present Pope is not the Pope.

  • Bwaj

    The greatest error of our time is not preaching the Gospel to Muslims, Jews and Pagans. The Scriptures say nothing about being saved in ignorance of the Truth. In fact the Scriptures tell us they will still be punished by God but receive a lesser punishment than those who knew the Truth but refused to preach it to them. Salvation is about believing Jesus is the Messiah Who is God’s Only-Begotten Son then being baptized (St. Mtt:16.16 St. Mk:16.16). For believing this and Muslims know we believe this they would cut off our heads and if we did not reject this belief. This is because Muslims are told in the Qur’an we invented this so must repent or be killed (Qur’an:9.29-33). Christians who are killed for believing Jesus is the Messiah: the Son of God become martyrs but those who murder Christians because of what we believe, if they do not accept the Truth, repent of their past sins and receive Baptism are condemned. Most Christian denominations believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah and God incarnate. Most Christian denominations believe in the Holy Trinity. These beliefs are professed in the three Catholic Creeds. Which Churches have these Creeds (or at least two of them)?:The Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, the Old Catholic Churches, the Western Rite Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Churches, the Lutheran Churches and the Methodist Churches.

  • Bwaj

    If you know early Church history – I do – those called ‘heretics’ were those who denied the Holy Trinity, or that Jesus is the Only-Begotten Son of God e.g. those who believed in adoptianism, those who denied the divinity of Jesus or the divinity of the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, the Old Catholic Churches,
    the Western Rite Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Churches, the Lutheran
    Churches and the Methodist Churches all believe Jesus is the Only-Begotten Son of God Who is God. They all believe in the Holy Trinity: that there is one God Who is three divine Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They all believe in faith and Baptism.  

  • Bwaj

    So when St. Paul warned St. Timothy to stick to the Scriptures he was in error? If Christians in many denominations, including our own, stuck to Scripture we wouldn’t have this nonsense that Muslims worship the same God we do when they don’t or do you believe God through His Son would tell the Apostles one thing and six centuries later tell Muhammad the opposite? What has this lead to? Apostate inter-faith worship and one Catholic priest in the USA even asking God to forgive Osama Bin Laden his sins several weeks after he was validly executed.

  • Bwaj

    ‘Other lies, such a sola Scriptura, have led to error upon error – and,
    bizarrely, to the idolisation of a book in a manner it was not meant to
    be idolised.’
    So you believe you can disagree with the Bible do you? I am a Catholic but your statement shows your ignorance – everything we as Catholics believe can be found explicitly, or implicitly, in the Bible. That is why I became Catholic.  

  • DB McGinnity

    I do not insult you, but I deprecate your ‘soap box’ bible thumping ‘Mickey Mouse’ ideology. It is common for bloggers to use cheap slogans, biblical quotations and citations of saints to support their second hand pseudo-philosophy. If a person is to make public pronouncements (blogs) about anything then that information should be credible and duly referenced for verification. It is not good enough for “The God Squad” to issue dogma like an armchair philosopher or barrack room lawyer without lucidity. If Catholics are to be taken seriously, then they must act seriously and say serious things. If you feel hurt, then think of Jesus before Pilate. Anyone can be a ’Mickey Mouse’ Catholic.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    Bwaj – you leap to inferences that are not there.  Nowhere did I imply that ‘members of other Christian denominations do not have a measure of Catholic faith’ – nor does that statement reflect my belief.  I believe that all who are baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, with the administration of water and with the intent to baptise are baptised into the Catholic Church.

    That does not mean I accept the validity of Methodist ordinations as sacraments.  They are clearly not, from a Roman Catholic perspective.

    The Creed (since you ask) clearly proclaims belief in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church – that is the Roman Catholic Church, founded by Christ on Peter as the Rock, and whose unity is to be found in unity with Christ through Pope Benedict XVI, the Peter of our time.

    As for arrogance, I believe that Truth and Charity are best served by clarity, not fudge (or abuse, come to that).  If that is what you call arrogance, so be it.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    This is a little simplistic.  The Anglicans, just to take one example, whilst proclaiming the words of the Creed, also proclaim the 29 Articles which effectively anathematise the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Clearly when they say the Creed, they mean something very different from it than we do as Catholics. 

  • DB McGinnity

    TALK IS CHEAPThere is more love of God in a little baby (even a Protestant, pagan or heretic baby) taking it’s first steps or formulating it’s first sentence that in all the ritualistic flummery of every Mass celebrated since time began. Anyone can buy a book of biblical quotations and use them shrewdly to give the impression of piety. “Action speaks louder than Words”, so as for quotations why do the Traditional pious not apply the tenets of Matthew 19:21 Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me. (Douay-Rheims Bible)With many religious people Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, priests and laity, talk is cheap; a load of ‘old blather’ . Let us have less Luke 18:11 “The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican” (Douay-Rheims Bible), and more of “Who is my neighbour?” – Luke 10:25–29. Finally, five eights of the world are starving of hunger and they do not own anything, and here I speak from first hand experience of having being to Haiti (a Catholic country). It is a disgrace when this is compared to the profligacy and pomposity of the Vatican. Therefore: All those empty pious words and biblical quotations of Traditional Catholics “The God Squad” (Gods chosen people) are meaningless without charity in thought word and deed to ALL of Gods people. (DUMP THE SOAPBOX AND THE LOUDHAILER)

  • Rich

    Funny, you reply to my post but you prefer to go off at a tangent rather than address it.

    You’re right, I do use few words but that’s not to say they’re not carefully considered. I find some of the work recorded here is incredible, nay laughable, and like Nick I’m trying to avoid allowing this blog to take over my life. Hence, I’m happy to draw a line and agree that we disagree.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    What on earth has this somewhat incoherent rant got to do with anything I said?  

  • DB McGinnity

    I would never write anything incoherent, and I never rant (let others decide). What I have written has everything to do with some egregious, pompous, dogmatic expressions of self righteousness and religious self certainty. Not the stuff of the teachings Jesus Christ.God made everybody the same, with the same soul, human dignity and human rights. Who has the right to say that some people are more favoured in the eyes of God than others. The Catholic Church’s record (prior to Vatican II) was far removed from the tenets of the teaching of Jesus Christ, and it would be a retrograde step for the human race for the Catholic Church to return to the shameful era of pain, suffering, torture, self flagellation, self mortification, fasting and penance, child abuse, child slavery in Industrial schools, blatant misogynistic degradation and subjugation of women (compulsory wearing of hats, veils or mantillas) and God knows what other nasty acts of suppression of human dignity.What do you know about Pagans, Infidels Heretics Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and other creeds and sects from first hand experience (talking and listening to their opinions, and having empathy for their suffering). Anyone can pontificate about anything from a comfortable armchair. The Vatican has been doing it for centuries

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    As you say, let others decide…

  • Anonymous

    “So you believe you can disagree with the Bible do you?”

    Get behind me, Satan! Don’t you ever dare accuse me of “disagreeing with the Bible”! If you became a Catholic, then you’d know that the Bible alone is not authoritative - as the Bible itself says so! You know that Our Lord gave the Church the mandate to interpret Scripture. Luther’s sola Scripture actually says that the Bible alone is all that a Christian needs (the Bible that the Church complied, by the way) to come to know Christ and that each person can interpret it as he or she sees fit. This has led to the numerous Protestant sects, all of which have a different interpretation of the same Bible.

  • Anonymous

    “current RC teaching”…

    Catholic teaching cannot contradict itself, so the teaching of Vatican II is in full conformity with the teachings of Vatican I, Trent, Nicea, etc, etc. 

    The language might have changed, but the teaching hasn’t.

    You really need to read Dominus Iesus, published by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) and under Pope (now Blessed) John Paul II’s authority. It affirms that, apart for the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, both of which trace their origins to Christ and his immediate apostles, all other “ecclesial communities” which have not preserved a proper Episcopacy and Eucharistic theology are defective and not “Churches in the proper sense”. As they are defective and do not have the full deposit of truth, but pretend that they aren’t defective and tell theor followers that they do have the fullness of truth, then they are erroneous (ie heretics) 

  • Anonymous

    Try not to be so facetious… It’s not conducive to proper debate…

    Why do you think I would even think I were “the Pope”?

    Your nastiness proves the invalidity of your arguments, in which, for some bizarre reason, you seem to want to defend those who have broken up the Body of Christ and who preach false teachings.

    Yes, they also preach truths, of course, which may even lead to their salvation, but, as Pope Benedict XVI poits out in Dominus Iesus, all those truths derive from the Catholic Church – and are all the things they were taught by her before they turned their backs on her.

    Although we tend not to describe them as heretics, all the terms we use for them, and our theology, effectively point to the fact that they remain what we traditionally labelled “heretic”.

  • Anonymous

    You assumption, like most of your argument, is VERY wrong.

    I belong to the Council for Christian and Jews, have been actively involved in Ecumenical dialogue for 20 years and was brought up a nominal Protestant. I have also been to a Mosque. In fact, I often attend Evensong as I live close to Westminster Abbey. But, unlike you, I find all these various liturgies, services and theologies profoundly deficient. It does not mean that I deny there is some truth in them, or that it is possible for some (ignorant or troubled) people to work out their salvation in these denominations.

    How very kind of you to a) try and compare me to the JW sect which you dislike so much (your nice ecumenism didn’t last long, did it? lol – maybe you only like liberal protestants?) b) to “respect my right to express” Catholic truth on a the Catholic Herald website.

    Let me make an assumption, then – I bet you feel you’re saving the world when recycling the Guardian, which you’ve just been reading lectio divina style!

    LOL…

    Join the modern world, the 60′s and 70′s are gone…

  • http://markrowland.livejournal.com/ Mark Rowland

    I might take issue in certain respects RCC’s self-understanding but I can most certainly accept the fact that that is how the RCC understands herself. I would also need to emphasise though the teaching that exists regarding those elements of sanctification and truth with exist in other Christian traditions. The RCC has on occasion, as in the extract below from Ut Unum Sint, indicated its willingness to be enriched by some of the witness of other traditions. As Blessed John Paul II says, full and visible communion is the goal of the journey we are making. So even accepting arguendo the RCC’s self-understanding, we need still to recognise the ecumenical journey. In that context the withdrawal of this invitation may fend off any danger to the RCC’s self-understanding (not that I am particularly convinced such a danger was posed – I wasn’t expecting to be able to turn up to the Metropolitan Cathedral the following week and concelebrate!) but it certainly does damage to our progress along the journey to full visible communion of which Bl John Paul speaks.

    “Along the way that leads to full unity, ecumenical
    dialogue works to awaken a reciprocal fraternal assistance, whereby Communities
    strive to give in mutual exchange what each one needs in order to grow towards
    definitive fullness in accordance with God’s plan (cf. Eph 4:11-13). I
    have said how we are aware, as the Catholic Church, that we have received much
    from the witness borne by other Churches and Ecclesial Communities to certain
    common Christian values, from their study of those values, and even from the
    way in which they have emphasized and experienced them. Among the achievements
    of the last thirty years, this reciprocal fraternal influence has had an
    important place. At the stage which we have now reached, this
    process of mutual enrichment must be taken seriously into account. Based on the
    communion which already exists as a result of the ecclesial elements present in
    the Christian communities, this process will certainly be a force impelling
    towards full and visible communion, the desired goal of the journey we are
    making. Here we have the ecumenical expression of the Gospel law of sharing.
    This leads me to state once more: “We must take every care to meet the
    legitimate desires and expectations of our Christian brethren, coming to know
    their way of thinking and their sensibilities … The talents of each must be
    developed for the utility and the advantage of all”.”

  • DB McGinnity

    I believe that Jehovah Witnesses have the right to be heard and the right to be wrong, as we all do. I was born with the gift of imperfection, so I am frequently wrong, according to other people’s values. Some Jehovah Witnesses preaching seems very bizarre to me, but they could be right, just as any other religion or cult or sect could be right. Maybe all of God’s people are right. The dogma of the Resurrection and the Assumption are just as bizarre as Jehovah Witness’s insofar that Catholic dogma dictates that intelligent people must believe that two people ascended body and soul into space, without protection from radiation and the danger of atmospheric pressure, and without oxygen, food and water. That is bizarre !!Your point about me wanting to save the world is “far out”. To save the world from what, and for what?   I take the Buddhist approach of not interfering with other peoples freedom to do as they please. I do become indignant however, when some other sanctimonious ‘know all’ fellow human beings have the effrontery and impertinence to judge the integrity and veracity of other human beings, and to preach “their interpretation of morality”. No human being of self respect will ever allow this. I am a person of the 40’s and 50’s, when the Roman Catholic Church was really corrupt and bigoted and full of hate against anyone and everyone who did not instantly obey their ‘crackpot’ dogma. Vatican II has brought a dissolution of Catholic power, that will never be allowed to come back, no matter what schemes some zealous brethren may have in mind.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    Mark

    Thanks for the civilised tone of your comments – many commenters here on the Catholic side have been inflammatory or abusive in their tone, either to each other or vis-a-vis others.  It is refreshing to read somebody who seeks to understand the other’s position, particularly when it is not one he shares.

    You wrote:
    “it certainly does damage to our progress along the journey to full visible communion of which Bl John Paul speaks.”Does it?  I’m not so certain as you are.  For myself, I prefer to discuss these important issues with people who are clear what they think and consistent in their thinking.  For the Catholic Church to send out mixed messages would seem to me to be unhelpful.  It is dishonest to dissemble: by ‘full visible communion’ we mean our separated brethren rejoining us in the fullness of Catholic truth.  One of my concerns was and is that allowing this particular service, Methodist ‘ordination’ (in inverted commas because I’m not sure that Methodists mean the same by the word as Catholics do, and this is a Catholic site), in a Catholic Cathedral would send out confusing signals.However, I’d certainly be interested to hear the thinking behind your comment that it would damage progress along the journey.

  • http://markrowland.livejournal.com/ Mark Rowland

    Thank you Ben.

    In my perspective (which I acknowledge may not be everyone’s) and as I have said elsewhere, what the holding of the service required the Catholic Church to acknowledge was (1) Methodism is a Christian tradition and (2) the service of ordination is a significant event in the life of the Methodist Church. We know that the Catholic Church and Methodist Church will not agree about the results of that (Methodist) service: we believe it creates presbyters of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; you do not. We could live with that – none of us remotely thought that we would be leaving the Metropolitan Cathedral with orders that would be recognised by the Roman Catholic Church but we recognised love, charity and hospitality in being willing to host one of our most significant acts of worship.

    The very pre-requisite of an ecumenical dialogue in Methodist terms is the question on which John Wesley reflects in his sermon “On the Catholic Spirit” which is “Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?” A familial bond of affection and mutual respect is for us necessary before all else for the ecumenical journey – the recognition to put it in Catholic terms, that we have a right to be called Christians and are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church (Unitatis Redintegratio). This rather unfortunate turn of events leads many of us to doubt that and that doubt strikes at the very foundation of the ecumenical journey. We would be in a very different position had permission never been given but it is very hard for us to see the withdrawal of permission weeks before the beginning of the Conference as other than a rather severe dressing down. That is why I believe it damages progress on the journey.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    Mark
    I too am sorry that permission was given and then withdrawn – very unsatisfactory from every point of view.I do not think it was in any way intended as a dressing down for Methodists or Methodism; if anyone was dressed down, it was those who gave the permission in the first place – and it is to them, rather than to Methodists or Methodism, that most of the traditionally-minded Catholics’ frustration is directed.I think, however, that you underestimate the significance (in Catholic eyes) of allowing such a service to go ahead in the Cathedral.  It is not merely a matter of acknowledging “(1) Methodism is a Christian tradition and (2) the service of ordination is a significant event in the life of the Methodist Church;” none of which would pose problems to any but the most hardline…  There are many other strands here.One is that we regard space as sacred in a way that may be foreign to your thinking.  The incarnational aspect of Catholicism results in a very physical aspect to our Faith.  Examples would include the use of sacramentals such as Holy Water.  When it comes to the Sanctuary and Altar of a Catholic Church, these are at the very height of sacredness.  They are reserved for the cult of the Church, the sacrifice of Calvary and associated liturgical worship, and should not (in traditional Catholic eyes) be put to any other use.  Until recently they were the preserve of the ordained, or those substituting for them (eg altar servers).  That has recently been relaxed, but many of us lament that, and indeed the current Holy Father seems to have as part of his project the reinstatement of the sense of the holy in our liturgy and our liturgical behaviour.Then there is the issue of the Blessed Sacrament.  We believe that in the Mass, Christ becomes truly physically present in the consecrated species, and we have tabernacles in our Churches where the consecrated hosts are kept, and where we adore Him.  How do we expect you to behave in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, when you clearly do not hold that belief?  Do we expect you to honour our belief, as you are in our sacred place – requiring you to behave in a way that would inevitably seem to you as idolatarous? Or do we expect you to ignore Him, in a way that would seem to us blasphemous?And so on – I could go on but this post seems long enough already!  But I hope that helps shed some light on what could, from your perspective, seem a most uncharitable decision. In our eyes, we cannot honour the second great commandment, to love our neighbour, in ways that offend agains the first, to love God.  If we violate our own consciences, how can we reach out with any integrity to you?