11 July 2007

Not really Christian

The Roman Catholic Church has declared that Christian Churches that do not pay homage to it are not really Christian Churches.

Jesus said: "Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them" (Matthew 18:20).

Therefore, it's entirely possible to pay homage to Jesus without paying homage to Ben16. When you've got Jesus among you, what else do you need (in Christian terms)? Being a Christian can be fraught with differing interpretations of what should or shouldn't be done, but basically anyone who takes an opinion against that of Jesus is on shaky theological ground. The logic that non-Catholic Christian Churches don't feature elements considered indispensible to Catholics makes them non-Catholic, not non-Christian.

Being seemingly afflicted - if not paralysed - by Vatican groupthink is no excuse for such an error. Bombast ought not be confused with certainty, and rising to such an altitude within the Roman Catholic Church ought not lead to frostbite of the spirit. When you read The Cotters' Saturday night you know that Christ is present, but it takes a real spiritual numbness to note, let alone miss, the absence of the Hitler Youth from Traunstein.

The churches of the Middle East and Africa, those apples that fell closer to the tree than that arrogant outfit in Rome, put the lie to the notion that the Roman Catholic Church has any monopoly on the life of Christ in the world. To their credit, the Catholic Church have admitted as much, but in their latest effort they are trying to edge away from their earlier clarity and generosity of spirit. It's to their discredit that they attempt to do so.

If you are baptised in a nonCatholic Christian church, and you subsequently convert to Catholicism, you don't have to get re-baptised.

The eastern churches, however, are not the target here. The target is the disintegrating Church of England, and the unsustainability of those who object to the leadership of the Queen in that church while not accepting that of the Pope. This conflict is for others to fight, but rendering sincere and devout Christians as collateral damage is not on.

It is hard to believe that such prideful and clumsy people as the gang who came up with this silly effort of nonCatholic = nonChristian are divinely inspired, or walking in the way of Christ.

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