Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What Should we Give Up for Ecumenism?

by Steve Ray on October 12, 2005

From Karl Keatings Weekly E-Letter

“I appreciate plain speaking, no matter where it comes from. Thus it was good to see We Are Church forthrightly state its position on the Eucharist. In brief, the dissident group is against the sacrament.

“According to a report from Catholic World News, We Are Church leaders said that "the dogma of transubstantiation … is unacceptable to Protestants and thus impedes ecumenical unity. The group decried traditional forms of Catholic piety, such as Eucharistic adoration and processions, as tending to make an 'idol' of the Blessed Sacrament."

“Well, yeah. Since Protestant churches do not have the Eucharist, the sacrament "impedes ecumenical unity." Ditto for any other distinctive belief of the Catholic Church.

“No Protestant church has a pope either, which means the papacy is an impediment. No Protestant church has a hierarchy of bishops, so that is another obstacle. No Protestant church endorses the veneration of saints the way the Catholic Church does, so that is yet another impediment. In fact, every belief that distinguishes the Catholic Church from other Christian churches is an impediment. This is news?

“What about transubstantiation? If the belief is false, then adoration and processions do amount to idol worship. You worship an idol when you worship something that is not God. If the Eucharist is not really Christ–if the Real Presence is not really present–then the host is just a piece of bread, and to adore it or even to honor it in a procession is to give the bread the regard that is due God only.

“Unsurprisingly, We Are Church could not leave bad enough alone. It also whined that people who are divorced and remarried are barred from Communion and that priests have a "monopoly" on the sacrament.

“In a way, you can appreciate the latter point. If the Eucharist is merely symbolic, why reserve the confection of the sacrament to priests? If the bread remains just bread, anyone could oversee the Eucharist. No special power granted through ordination would be needed to celebrate Mass.

“As for Communion for the divorced and remarried, why not, if the Eucharist is just plain bread? Why exclude anyone at all from the ceremony?”

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