Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

3/14/2007

Benedict Stands Firm

I pass along the news that Pope Benedict XVI issued a 131-page exhortation reaffirming all the highpoints of traditional teaching for Roman Catholics. The Associated Press article Pope Affirms Traditional Views does a good job at providing an overview. The official text is at the Vatican's website here: Apostolic Exhortation.

This news is shared with no anti-Catholic bias as I feel none. As a married priest, who under the right conditions remarries people after divorce and under most any condition lets them receive communion, who enjoys the liturgy in English and a variety of music in worship, etc. it is self evident that my practices vary from those of the Pope. I love Gregorian Chant and am proud of my daughter for taking Latin in high school, but I don't want them back as regular features of worship at King of Peace.

Benedict XVIBut it is Benedict's role to lead the 1.1 Billion Catholics, not mine. And he is leading as those Cardinals who said their prayers and cast their votes expected he would.

This does offer an occasion to comment that it is very common that two different people will read the Bible, pray fervently for guidance and will feel God leading them two different ways. I sometimes wish this were not so, but there it is. Some will find in this excuse to consider that God is leading one person and not the other, or perhaps neither person.

Instead, I see that in my reading of scripture and saying my prayers, I am confident that I can be married, for example, as I am confident of some other views at variance with Benedict's exhortation. But I am also confident that Benedict is saying his prayers and leading the church with which he has been entrusted as faithfully as he knows how. I do well to listen to how God is leading me while not judging Benedict for how he hears God leading him.

I don't have to conclude is that Benedict is wrong or the place I stand is better. Instead, I am drawn to the conclusion that God knows that many of us are in different places and that the Holy Spirit is capable and even apt to work with each of us where we are and not where others wish we would be. This is messy. If I were God I would handle things differently. This is yet another of a long list of reasons why I am not God.

But I am confident that God is working out the redemption of the world. I also trust that Julian of Norwich was right in affirming that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well...even when people who share a strong faith in Jesus differ in where they see their Lord leading them.

What do you think?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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8 Comments:

  • At 3/14/2007 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Are all "truths" then equal? Is everything anyone ever holds as something they believed after reading their Bible and praying OK?

     
  • At 3/14/2007 8:15 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Ah yes, the dilemna of the blog. Write a short post affirming one thing and it will leave open other possibilities not intended.

    I was attempting to hold up how one can have views that differ from another and not judge the other person. I was not trying to say that anything someone says, "God told me" is true. I have already affirmed elsewhere that it is not logically possible for all truths to be equal and so I am not a complete relativist. But I still hold that it is possible and even likely for God to lead me differently than God leads you. And based on this it is prudent for me to follow Jesus teaching not to judge.

    Now I have probably erred another direction. But all shall be well anyway.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 3/14/2007 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Truth" stands alone as "Truth." It is what it is. It is our human perception of truth that is faulty. Our beliefs are sometimes shaped on these faulty perceptions.

    Robin rapp

     
  • At 3/14/2007 8:35 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Coming from a minority religious tradition, I can certainly respect their interest in maintaining the integrity of what they believe.

    As long as they don't attempt to force their beliefs on anyone, let them have it. But, if I recall correctly, the office of the inquisitor is still present in the RC church so it seems to me that a religious leader demanding that politicians uphold the doctrines of the church means we're not all that far advanced from the times of putting Galileo under arrest for holding heretical views.

     
  • At 3/14/2007 10:27 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Unfortunately truth seems to be a moving target. Where is the line to be drawn? Where does the Church stop accomodating and hold fast to what it believes to be the Truth?

    Just because most of our society thinks folks who have ben divorced should be allowed to remarry and take communion should the Pope give in? Is he not the Roman Catholic leader?

    When dealing with contentious issues what standard do you use?

    The Episcopal Church, to its credit, seems to follow the principle of inclusiveness. Get as many people under the umbrella as possible.

    The Cathoilcs (or at least this Pope) seems to be saying you must conform to the Cathoilc dogma or you will be excluded.

    Which is better? Which is right? What would Jesus do?

     
  • At 3/14/2007 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree with "King of Peace". This particular pope and his upholding of "traditional values" is precisely why I feel that God led me straight out of the Roman Catholic church. Many of those "traditional values" are hurtful and oppressive. What's right for the pope is not right for me. I have been led "differently." Thank the Lord.

    And, I pray for the pope and the strength not to judge him or the Roman Catholic church, unlike the way that he and his "traditional values" so harshly judged me.

     
  • At 3/14/2007 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What would Jesus do? I have faith that He would never be exclusive. He welcomed all, including the sinner. Maybe the Pope needs to ask that question!

    And yes, the Pope should give in when it comes to the divorce and the Communion issue. He grants awful lot of annulments for a price.

    And, yes,again, the Pope is the Roman Catholic leader. But, so were many Popes before him. Priests were originally permitted to be married in the RC church. For political reasons, one Pope changed all that. What makes one Pope right and not the other?

    Obviously, Roman Catholic doctrine has changed throughout the centuries, so depending on the Pope in office, it could change again. This is a prime example of the Holy Spirit leading people differently.

     
  • At 3/15/2007 5:19 PM, Blogger Robin D. said…

    "Truth" is a principle. It cannot differ. Principles are the rocks upon which all things are built. God created principles. Some people call these things, "Laws of the Kingdom".

    We are, unfortunately, imperfect beings in a halfway place. Our world is neither perfect nor corrupt. (It ain't Heaven, but it ain't Hell neither.)

    For any man to interpret Truth is an imperfect task. The Pope is doing the best he can with what he is given, I believe. We too must do the best we can with what we believe.

    My Sociology Advisor told me that the Church should always change slower than Society because it's job is to act as a sea anchor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_anchor )and keep society pointed in the right direction.

    You don't have to believe the Pope is the repository of Ultimate Truth but you do have to hope he is looking for it.

     

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