Saturday, October 22, 2016

'No, bishop, that's quite wrong...'

Just now I saw this headline at Crux: "Pope in Sweden could break ground on inter-communion, bishop says." Of course I clicked on it.


Here are some gems:

I think it’s very important that people know that the Reformation was a great misunderstanding, we all got it wrong, on both sides, and we’ve lifted excommunications and condemnations and apologized. So we can all be friends.

No, bishop; it's true that the Reformation involved a great deal of misunderstanding, but there was a lot more than that. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and Menno -- the big four of the Reformation -- all not only dissented dramatically from the Catholic Faith, they went to war with each other, quite literally, eventually. It wasn't just "misunderstanding." They came to believe very different things.

On the Eucharist, Lutherans have more or less the same doctrine as we have.

No bishop, that's quite wrong. Catholics believe the priesthood is sacramental; there is an ontological change in the man ordained, and he is configured to Christ the High Priest in a true and unique way. Lutherans deny this. Accordingly, they deny the Holy Mass is a true sacrifice, as opposed to a remembrance only. And without a true priesthood, there can't be a true sacrifice.

Actually, it's quite easy to see the difference between what Catholics believe about the Eucharist, and what is taught by Protestant bodies. Catholics adore the Eucharist: that is, we give the Eucharist that worship proper only to God. Is that what the Lutheran Church teaches? Get back to me on that.

There's more, but this is enough to call into question the merits of the rest of the article. In charity, I must allow that perhaps the errors are not the bishop's, but the author of the article; in any case, they each have their agendas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This might seem like an odd question, but how much and what should Catholics know about Protestantism and its various branches? I am weak on the general descriptions and ignorant on many of the specifics. The reason for asking is all of the ecumenical talk that is going around.