Split Imminent

The crisis in the Anglican communion is coming to a head.

Mgr Graham Leonard, (the former Anglican Bishop of London) writing in The Path to Rome has said, “There is a realignment occurring between those one the one hand who believe the Christian gospel is revealed by God, is to be heard and received and that its purpose is to enable men and women to obey God in love, and through them for creation itself to be redeemed. On the other hand are those who believe that it can and should be modified and adapted to the cultural and intellectual attitudes and demands of successive generations and indeed originates in them.”

In other words, the choice is between revealed religion or relative religion.

Fr. Leonard spoke these words in 1986, but he was only recognizing what was, until that time, a clouded truth about Protestantism in general. Without a clear authority structure, the non-Catholic ecclesial communities had always been organized on these principles. Many non-Catholics believed (and today still do believe) in revealed religion, but it is increasingly difficult for them to sustain the argument that their denomination follows this revealed religion because they must account for the tens of thousands of other Protestant denominations that claim to be following the revealed religion too.

The most that conservative post-modern Christians can do is claim that they do indeed follow ‘Mere Christianity’ i.e. the historic, revealed Christian faith, but they do so as individuals within a denomination that is provisional, which they belong to for utilitarian and individualistic reasons. If this is their position, they must then ask just what their ‘mere Christianity’ consists of. What are its limits and definitions? They must then ask where they get the authority to decide such boundaries, and the deeper question–“Where did this essential historic faith come from in the first place?”

Thinking non-Catholic Christians must finally ask these basic questions. The questions may not bring them ‘home to Rome’, but they will at least acknowledge that their Christian faith is derived from the fullness of the faith found only in the Catholic Church.

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  • Or, The Anglican/Protestant experiment has failed. The current situation in the Anglican Communion (and, in a very real sense, in the Continuing Anglican jurisdictions) shows that theology done outside of the context of the Church is bound to do little than elevate emotions. I have blogged a little about this in the last couple of weeks:The Persistence of Protestant Identity: More harm than good?What’s keeping you?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Dwight,I came across your blog via another. I interviewed you a few years ago for a Christian newspaper in the UK.It makes me smile to see you are still trying to convert all us Evangelicals. I’m ex-Catholic, now a member of a Pioneer Church in England. (www.pioneer.org.uk)Your comments about the Anglican church disintigrating mirrors what is happening in the traditional churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, indifferent forms. For example, see: (www.totalcatholic.com)which shows immigrants in the UK abandoning the Catholic church for the Pentecostals. Also, look at the Spiritual revolution taking place in Brazil, as Catholics walk over to the Pentecostals and the New Churches.But its not all bad news. It is the Catholic charismatic communities which are thriving and “doing the stuff” as John Wimber used to stay. Groups such as Flame Ministries International (www.flameministries.org)Cor et Lumen Christi (www.coretlumenchristi.org) and House of the Open Door (www.houseoftheopendoor.org) are bringing countless numbers to Jesus with their teaching, miracles and healings. Another good reference is Fr Bob deGrandis who chides Catholics for “having a huge theology on suffering but not on healing.” (www.degrandisssj.com)Meanwhile, you distract yourselves with pointless debates about the influence of the post-modern hemeneutics of the Latin chant and its role in dropping money in the Sunday collection plate (in accordance with the Novus Ordo.) Wake up!Dwight, please believe me, we Evangelicals are Spirit-filled. Your constant sniping at us reminds me of a man who wants to marry, but can’t give up his mistress. Make up your mind.Blessings to you and all your contributors,James Hastings

  • Anonymous

    James:HEre’s the problem with your thesis. Quicker than you can blink, the pentecostal and charismatic movements in the third world are transforming into prosperity gospel get rich quick schemes, with the major beneficiaries being the preachers. If you take a quick look at what’s happened over the past 20 years, the trajectory is consistent and, to the clear-eyed, not surprising. Without authority, things go off the rails – the Anglicans in another, the evangelical movement in another. Be honest!

  • Anonymous

    The honest truth is its too simplistic to wave the prosperity Gospel argument around, rather than face the reality of what the Charismatics are doing. Meanwhile the legalistic, religious Christians see their churches emptying. Of course there are some rogues at work in Brazil and elsewhere – Catholic and non-Catholic. But here’s some more honesty. Fr deGrandis tells how he worked for ten years in various Catholic parishes in America. He loved his life as a priest, the church calendar and the Liturgy, the traditional Catholic devotions, parish groups and events etc etc. But he never saw a single miracle or healing and very few conversions. After he got involved with Charismatic Renewal – wow, miracles and healing in every sense of those words and countless coming to Jesus. Fr deGrandis is a loyal, conservative Catholic and you just have to look at his clothes (he always wears a Roman collar) to see he doesn’t have $1m dollars, in a Swiss bank.I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but when was someone last healed of Aids, or blindness or raised from the dead in your parish, or any of the other legalistic ones you may frequent. Are you having to install more seats to meet with the influx of members.When was someone last healed of depression and come to or return to Jesus? As someone once said – the only miracle happening in many churches is that the congregation bother to return. Blessing to y’allJames H

  • Well James, both Fr Dwight and myself spent many years as Evangelicals, I spent a good few of those years in Charasmatic circles (I was with YWAM for a couple of years). We have both converted to the Catholic Church for a start! I work in prison, where we regularly see people converting to the Catholic faith. The Catholic Church has never lost miracles, be it at Lourdes, Padre Pio, healings caused by the intercession of the saints (indeed someone can’t be proclaimed a Saint without a couple of verified miracles). You may not like the fact that the Catholic Church has miracles, but she always has had and still does. Your rather offensive use of the word “legalistic” to slag off Church communities that you don’t approve of is somewhat disappointing, what do you mean by “legalistic”? Do you mean Churches that use Liturgy? If so this is precisely what Jesus did and the early Church.Yes it is a miracle that our congregations keep coming back, and that Miracle is called the Mass, which happens every week in every Catholic Church throughout the world. At the Mass we enter into the saving reality of calvary, and Jesus gives himself to us… as he said “unless you eat my body and drink my blood you have no life in you”… now that is a miracle.

  • Anonymous

    David,I’m puzzled.You suggest I might not like “the fact that the Catholic Church has miracles.” But I mentioned a Catholic priest, Fr Bob deGrandis, thru whom I stated miracles are happening. My other references to Catholic charismatic groups like Flame, Cor et Lumen, House of the Open Door, included the fact they are all places where signs and wonders (miracles)are taking place right now. I could give you a list with full medical notes as groups like Cor et Lumen are aware many people doubt miracles are happening. They are ‘doing the stuff’ as John Wimber said. So, I am very happy!However, like many Catholics, when you hear the word ‘miracle’ you immediately refer to Lourdes, Padre Pio etc. You have pigeon holed miracles. Fr deGrandis, Flame etc, see miracles happen in their parish churches, at prayer meetings, in living rooms, prisons and in hospitals (check out Flame’s book, 12 Steps to Divine healing which tells how a nun was raised from the dead at a prayer meeting and David Harp was healed of full blown Aids) As a former Catholic, I understand the rule about miracles attributed to saints. I also smiled when a Flame member said it was sad most Catholics feel they have to wait until someone dies before expecting a miracle.Brother, you are also wrong to claim that when I used the word ‘legalistic’ I was refering to churches that use Liturgy. That is your claim not mine. By legalistic, I mean churches or Christian communities – Catholic or Evangelical – who believe that simply by following certain rules, prayers or theology – they will be guaranteed a result. Or at least keep themselves out of trouble!Blessings to youJames H

  • lovely post..& Monsignor Leonard is a member of Miles Jesu too!

  • Oh & the numbers of converts or reverts to the Catholic Church is astonishing. Sad for the lapsed Catholic anonymous…2 young girls were baptised & received Holy Communion because they asked for it..& were suitably prepared. i have several friends who are converts indeed anyone joining our large extended family always by choice & inspiration converts. those lapsed in Latin america in other countries are looking in the wrong Churches. Sometimes we will go through the dark night & it’s no good a charismatic telling us we’re not praying enough. The Catholic Church is the sure & narrow way..all others are Protestant sects & numerous they are too.

  • Julie

    James, I think you might find this interesting:http://godfearin.blogspot.com/2007/09/nothing-new-under-sun.html

  • Anonymous

    Julie,Wow! What a site! So much anger, judgement and theological gymnastics from the author.In contrast, check out these loyal, loving and truly Catholic sites – and I happily say that as an Evangelical!Flame Ministries International (www.flameministries.org) or Cor et Lumen (www.coretlumenchristi.org)They’re ‘doing the stuff’ – bringing people to Jesus, not pushing them, like your friend at the godfearin blog.BlessingsJames H

  • Anonymous

    James wrote:”I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but when was someone last healed of Aids, or blindness or raised from the dead in your parish, or any of the other legalistic ones you may frequent.?”There is a charismatic Protestant church in my neighborhood that claims just this. Despite their brochures (which offer, among other things, to teach how to raise people from the dead), and despite their relatively large number of members, I have not seen any actual healings of any actual people. They have funerals all the time for their members, none of whom reanimate. Moreover, although their members have a lot of activities and some of them are wonderful and life-changing, they are not at all involved in the community. They do not participate in any charities, any civic groups, any community projects, anything aimed outside themselves. I am not at all pushing “social justice issues,” just commenting that a Christian community ought to make some sort of impact on the people around it. We do not exist for ourselves alone.I’m sorry, James, but I do not believe anyone was healed of AIDS or blindness, or was raised from the dead, in your parish/congregation/community either. As a former Anglican you must be aware of Ronald Knox’s book “Enthusiasm” and its chronicle of emotional forms of Christianity through the ages. Getting people whipped up into a frenzy is not new, and it’s not necessarily a good thing — even if it is a nice frenzy. Catholic Charismatic groups that have their bishop’s approval are fine with me. But I don’t think they are “more right” than non-Charismatics.Over hear in America we have lots of these churches, and lots of every conceivable type of church. Some services are televised and earn their pastors millions. Some services are small and don’t earn a dime. Most are full of earnest, loving people. That doesn’t make them right.Gail

  • Anonymous

    Hi Gail,Thanks for the reply.I also want to thank Dwight for allowing this discussion on his blog. Its a bit like someone allowing his neighbours to hold a meeting on his front lawn.David Harp’s healing from Aids is well documented clinically. His own doctor described it as “miraculous.” David had been living as a drug taking, alcoholic, promiscuous homosexual. He is free from all addictions and engaged to Denise. The full story can be found in the book, “Its Faith Jim, But Not As We Know It,” written by Flame’s founder, Eddie Russell. The book carries an Imprimatur and Nihil obstat. The same book documents the raising from the dead of a nun who died at a Flame prayer meeting. Unknown to anyone, she had severe heart disease and was on a waiting list for major surgery. When her doctor examined her in the hospital, he could find no trace of heart disease – raised from the dead and given a new heart. Now that’s a miracle!Damien Stayne at Cor et Lumen Christi, another loyal Catholic charismatic group, has witnessed similar miracles. When asked: ‘but how can you be sure its a miracle?’ he replies: “A man with mouth cancer came to our meeting with his best friend, who was also his doctor. The man was prayed over. He felt his mouth instantly healed and his doctor examined him in the church. He could find no trace of cancer and subsequent tests in hospital also proved negative.”Gail, most Catholics are not raised to expect miracles and healing, except a quota sanctioned annually by the Vatican. That is not a criticism, only an observation.As for the church near you which you say is claiming false healing. I can’t comment as I have no knowledge of them. But here is a comparison. The secular world delights when a Catholic priest is exposed as a paedophile. Athiests declare: “All priests are paedophiles” and the most disgusting comments are made about priests (and pastors) in newspapers and by comediens on TV. Yet, as Christians, we know that most Catholics priests are not paedophiles, but true men of God. So just because you know of a church you say is making false claims on healing, don’t assume all Charismatic churches, or all churches for that matter, are the same.Fr Bob deGrandis says he’s frequently asked by cynical, doubting fellow Catholic priests: “Bob, why are you always promoting Charismatic Renewal?” He replies: “Because it works!”Finally, you seem to think I am a former Anglican. I’m not and haven’t claimed so. I’m a former Catholic who is now a member of a Pioneer Church.BlessingsJames H

  • bernadette

    Re the split in the Anglican church, look at what they are fighting over: Women Bishops, the ordination of practising homosexuals. They are the priorities on their agenda. They are not debating The Real Presence or any of the sacraments for that matter. Extinction is surely only a matter of time.

  • Julie

    James, Anger and judgement? Huh? Where did you get that? God bless you. I was very, very much like you once. I thank God that I am now back home in the Catholic Church.

  • Anonymous

    Julie,Its good you are in the church where you feel God wants you to be. That’s why I’m sure you’ll love the Flame Ministries and Cor et Lumen Catholic sites as those guys are all backed by their respective bishops and never do anything without their bishops approval.BlessingsJames H

  • Anonymous
  • Did you write in that book..? i’m sure you signed my book!

  • William

    Well, here is one convert who thanks God each and every day that he showed me the way home!As for the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church; well, yes, been there, done that. Spent several years in CR before I realised that faith takes more than mere emotionalism if it is to grow. Cor et Lumen? , I have been to some of their healing miracle ‘shows’ and believe me, what I saw was the performance ego of the community leaders, rather than the work of the Holy Spirit.Actually, I might shock some here because I am actually working up a theological arguement which says that Charismatic Renewal is a stalking horse which will destroy, rather than grow the Catholic Church. It (CR) is a stalking horse which is bringing into the mainstream of Catholicism Protestant theology. CR is despicable and dishonest.

  • Tony

    James, could you please clarify your argument. If you are asking for the Catholic Church to increase its charismatic practices this is one thing. It is another to determine the authenticity of Pentecostal churches through these charismatic practices. Of the later I have two concerns: because Pentecostal churches are popular does that make them authentic; and the other, what is obedience? The Lord asked we worship in Spirit and in Truth and also said every lie is alien to the truth. How then should we regard His Church? Is the Church relative? So as long as we believe in Jesus Christ is how we worship irrelevant? The scriptures offer limited details on liturgical practices and this may not mean it is because they are unimportant. It may mean the gospels and letters of the New Testament address moral issues in the new church. Is sacred scripture omni-competent? Can they answer all questions? This leads to a discussion of is Faith Alone Evangelical possibility? Where do the Pentecostal churches come from and where are they grounded? Why should we follow them?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Annonymous,Did you want a response from me to the Commonweal blog which gives an account of an Episcopalian bishop moving to the Catholic Church?Imagine two castles built across from each other. One is called Castle Catholic, the other Castle Anglican. Every so often, someone leave Castle Anglican to join Castle Catholic. All the residents in Castle Catholic rejoice and send out letters far and wide announcing another person from Castle Anglican has come over to their side. Later, someone leaves Castle Catholic to join Castle Anglican and their printing presses now run overtime with their own triumphant proclamations.Meanwhile, situated between these two fortifications is a little dwelling. Every day, people leave this house to go into the towns and villages around, because they understand the King’s Great Commission to proclaim the Good News and heal the sick.The Catholics and Anglicans ask: “How dare they be so presumptuous! We are the guardians of centuries old theology and tradition. We need walls to secure Liturgical jewels and sacred devotions. That’s why we live in castles.” But from the windows of the little house, all the people can see are ivory towers.

  • Anonymous

    Hi William, Wow. That’s quite a statement – that Charismatic renewal is a stalking horse which will destroy the Catholic Church! Pope John Paul II didn’t share that view. Speaking to a group of international leaders of the Renewal on December 11, 1979, he said: “I am convinced that this movement is a very important component of the entire renewal of the Church.” I know Damian Stayne at Cor et Lumen. He is not one for “performance ego.” But please, tell me, William, how do you explain an instant healing of mouth cancer if it is not a miracle from God? Hi Tony,Yes, I would love to see Catholic Charismatic renewal grow in the Catholic church. What about the Pentecostals? Did you know Catholic Renewal grew out of Pentecostalism which grew out of Methodism? At the turn of the 20th century, a group of Methodists in Kansas wondered why they didn’t see the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in their church. They prayed for these and were amazed when the gifts came upon them. Their Methodist leaders denounced it but the people were convinced what had happened came from God and because it was what happened at Pentecost, they called themselves Pentecostals.By the 1960s, Catholics in America had been sharing worship and prayer with Pentecostals and at Duquesne University in Pittsburg, Catholics gathered – and Catholic Renewal was launched. I know many Catholics who were healed and had the Holy Spirit come upon them at Pentecostal meetings and vice versa. Who can tell where the wind will blow?It even blew on a pagan centurion and weren’t the religious leaders at the time shocked when Jesus said his faith was the strongest he’d ever encountered. I bet Jesus lost a few followers that day!Try and get some of Fr deGrandis’ tapes – they are spiritual dynamite.Blessings to you William and Tony and Annonymous, sorry I left them off my reply to you.James H

  • phonic

    It is good to have the catholic tradition but lets think outside the box here – the reformation was a product of catholic corruption. I can see the comfort of catholicism and I’m sure lots of people need and crave that sort of conformity but lets face it, it’s not only the catholics that will get to heaven is it – so whats the big deal?

  • Hello James, Sorry to have been out of the loop, but I was away with our eighth graders on retreat. I wasn’t aware that I was sniping at Evangelicals, simply pointing out that there are some basic theological questions that they really ought to take the trouble to ask themselves.About ‘trying to convert Evangelicals’…I thought Evangelicals thought that was a good thing, and that they respected Catholics who believed their faith enough and were enthusiastic enough to actually evangelize.In response to phonic, yes non-Catholic may get to heaven, (and many bad Catholics will go to hell) We seek to share the Catholic faith with others because we believe it to be the fullest expression of the Christian faith in the world. You can be nourished well enough with hamburgers and hot dogs, but a full menu from a huge restaurant is better.

  • James:Fr. De Grandis, who you refer to as your authoritive source on the Catholic Church, said he has seen very few conversions, but is all on fire for the Charismatic Catholics. If the Charismatic group is so great–why no more conversions?And, BTW, James, guess what, besides about a half million being baptized into the Catholic church each year–those under age seven, in addition there are about 160,000 converting over age seven each year–hmmmm.. looks like Fr. De Grandis’ sole opinion may not be a reliable reflection for your false illusion that their are very few conversions to the Catholic Church.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard of charismatics/pentenazies confessing about their fake speaking in “tongue.”

  • Anonymous

    Mornin’ all,A fine assortment of views. Its good to dialogue…but you have all avoided my question about healings, medically verified by scepetical doctors, which happen at Catholic Charismatic Renewal meetings. I attended Catholic legalistic servcies for 40 years and never saw a single physical healing. Now, Charismatics don’t have a monopoly on healing or miracles of the Spirit, so why don’t they happen at legalistic services? That’s why Catholics, with the best intention, can only fall back on that old favourite argument and say ‘well, miracles are not just about the physical……’Tara – I have a tape of Fr deGrandis speaking in 2003 at a retreat in Bristol, England for deacons, priests and bishops. He clearly speaks about the first ten years after his ordiantion, a time he loved as a priest, the services, devotions, parish activities etc. But in those years he states clearly that he never saw a single miracle and very few conversions, but after renewal, he saw miracles and countless conversions. I could post a transcript of his words. There should be even more conversions in Renewal. But Charismatics can get lazy too, fall into legalistic prayer and theology. I’ve seen it happen and Renewal meetings dry up.Anonymous -I could retort that I’ve heard many legalistic people confess about their fake devotional prayer life etc. C’mon! Dwight -Thanks for letting this loop carry on…feel free to end it whenever you like as its your blog.I spent 40 years in Catholic restaurants where the main dish, Liturgy, was often overcooked, too rich and I always left still feeling hungry.Blessings to y’allJames H

  • William

    Speaking to a group of international leaders of the Renewal on December 11, 1979, he said: “I am convinced that this movement is a very important component of the entire renewal of the Church.” John Paul will, God willing, soon be a Saint of the Church – but here he was not speaking Infallibly. And, sadly, we know that on many issues John Paul was badly advised and that there were people he allowed to get close to him whom he ought not. That doesn’t detract from his Holiness, merely proves that on some things he was allowed to be too much his own man.And, “Anonymous” how do YOU explain this miracle please? And has this “miracle” been submitted to the Church authorities for close study?

  • tony

    James,Before there were Methodists, there was St. Francis. St. Francis didn’t prepare homilies, he let the Holy Spirit work through him and what he said was all the better for it. He thought the Benedictines were the “cult of silence” and encouraged his brothers to speak and act of the Spirit (Iriarte). I mention this because the Catholic Church embraces many spiritualities–it’s huge on the inside as I am sure you know. I meet Jehovah Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Muslims and many other cultures in the South and I see good in each. When I encounter them, I find it is not necessary to leave my faith to obtain those goods; I can find the means to obtain them within my own faith. God calls each of us to become saints, he may have called you. St. Francis was a pioneer and you could be too. Sainthood isn’t easy because like St. John of the Cross you face opposition outside the Church, within yourself and inside the Church. There is no shame in turning back if you decide where you are is not the fullness of the truth, only greater virtue.TonyFirm believer in citing other people’s ideas: Iriarte, Lazaro. The Franciscan Calling. Trans. Carole M. Kelly. Chicago: The Fransican Herald, 1974.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Wiliam,I thought Catholics were not suppoed to be pic and mix in their faith? All the Popes have supported Renewal. For example:In 1975, Pope Paul VI, personally invited the Renewal to hold its annual conference in Rome.Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in a forward to a book by Cardinal Suenens, at that time the Pope’s delegate to the Charismatic Renewal, said: “At the heart of a world imbued with a rationalistic skepticism, a new experience of the Holy Spirit suddenly burst forth. And, since then, that experience has assumed a breadth of a worldwide Renewal movement. What the New Testament tells us about the Charisms – which were seen as visible signs of the coming of the Spirit – is not just ancient history, over and done with, for it is once again becoming extremely topical.”As for miracles. Catholics need to change their mindset here. I used to live in Scotland. Scotland has two saints, St Margaret (13th century) and St John Ogilvie (20th century) and you know a miracle is part of the cannonisation process. So in 800 years, only two miracles have taken place in Scotland. Is that following Jesus’ command to ‘heal the sick.’Please, how do YOU explain these miracles. Even the athiests doctors call them ‘miracles.’Hi Tony,And before Francis, there were many other Charismatics in the Catholic Church, going back all the way to those first Christian communities. I was ashamed at first, to turn back, to leave the Catholic Church, to upset family and friends. But as CS Lewis says, sometimes, the best way forward is to go back. So, I left the Catholic Church to go back to that fulness of faith I read of in Scripture. I have never felt so at home as I do now.But we are all on different journeys. I may convict, but I will never condemn the Catholic Church, or all the holy bishops, priests, religious brothers, nuns, and laity I know there. (You can tell I’m, ex-Catholic, as I got that list in the correct order!)You can see from my contributions, I still promote the Catholic Church, especially in Renewal, which does annoy some of my Evangelical friends, who still believe the Pope is the anti-Christ and all that nonesense.As for sainthood – well, I have a different definition on what ‘saint’ means. Its not something Evangelicals try to become, its something we are, and you are too! Put ol’ John of the Cross down and pick up some of Fr deGrandis’ books or Eddie Russell’s, It’s Faith, Jim, But Not As We Know It.Blessing to y’allJames H

  • James, it is good to hear from you again. I notice that you haven’t actually addressed the main point of the original post which asks some questions about the authority structure of modern non-Catholic Christianity.

  • James,Though this is perhaps not surprising in an ex-Catholic, you have a rather flawed understanding of miracles in a Catholic context:As for miracles. Catholics need to change their mindset here. I used to live in Scotland. Scotland has two saints, St Margaret (13th century) and St John Ogilvie (20th century) and you know a miracle is part of the cannonisation process. So in 800 years, only two miracles have taken place in Scotland. Is that following Jesus’ command to ‘heal the sick.’Is is certainly not the case that saints are limited to two miracles a piece — unless St. Therese of Lisieux and countless others are breaking union rules! There are many saints to whose intercession countless thousands of miracles have been attributed, if you want to accept every claim of such among the laity as valid. However, I must say that for all the enthusiasm of certain pentacostals/charismatics, I’ve also seen huge amounts of burn-out. Basically my whole wife’s family and their friends used to be deep, deep into charismatic Catholicism. People found real consolation (perhaps spiritual, perhaps emotional) in the movement, but as years passed and the same people came to altar call every time, and as people grew out of the age where “music of the age” was their preferred medium of prayer, they all found a deeper prayer life in the tradition forms of prayer and liturgy within the Church.I don’t question that some people may, for a time, find benefits from the clapping and swaying and “praying on tongues” and “slaying in the spirit” — but frankly after watching all that stuff on the ground at Steubenville for four years, I see no benefit and much danger in abandoning the traditional forms of Catholic prayer for these.

  • Anonymous

    Dear All,This has been an interesting and enjoyable combox. But I think now is the time for me to take a rest and let someone else lead the issue. I’ll drop back in another day, if that’s allowed and we’ll discuss something simple, like the Eucharist or Papal infallibility. Only joking!.I won’t go over the points you’ve all raised. You’d only go over my replies and Dwight will end up with the longest combox in history.However, it is good to talk. There was a time when Catholics and Protestants were too busy persecuting and killing each other to talk. Thank God we’ve moved on since then.I’ll try and sum up the difference, as I see it, between an Evangelical and a Catholic with the following story. A man wanted to ask President Abraham Lincoln a question. When he arrived at the White House, he was told ‘you can’t just come in and speak directly to the President.’He was told he would have to go through the traditional channels, contact his senator, file a petition and hopefully, he would eventually get his question to the President.As he sat outside the White House gates clutching a handful of forms and request slips, a young boy asked him what was wrong. When the man explained his situation, the young boy took his hand and said ‘come with me.’The boy led him through the main gates, through the front door of the White House and along a corridor. No one stopped them or asked for identification. Soon they reached a large door which the man knew must be the door of the Oval Office. The boy opened it and took the man in with him to where President Lincoln was sitting at his desk. The President looked up at the man then turned to the boy and said: “Robert, son, what can I do for you.” The boy replied: “Dad, this man needs to speak with you.”You see, the Son has direct access to the father. Straight in. Not that we are worthy, not because of who we are, but because of whose we are – God’s children.Oh, you Catholics will get into heaven. But you will be the last there. Why? Well, because you all prefer the long way round. You prefer the spiritual bureaucracy of devotions, suffering, rosary, suffering, Liturgy, suffering, petitons, novenas, suffering, and more suffering.We Evangelicals will see you coming in the distance and we’ll get a meal ready for you. We won’t ask ‘where have you been,’ because we will know. And it won’t matter then. We will all be sitting down to the heavenly banquet.There is a danger we take ourselves too seriously, so I’ll sign off with a joke.A non-judgemental Protestant, an open minded Catholic and Santa Claus were in a lift when they spotted a $100 bill lying on the floor. Who picked it up? Santa, of course; the other two don’t exist.I’ll keep you all in my prayers. Please keep me in yours.BlessingsJames H.PS. And if anyone ever wants to learn more about the Church and the media, go to:www.speakingout.info

  • Julie

    Ex-Catholic Evangelicals always seem to have these stories. You can tell somebody has been feeding them full of it. I know, it happened to me and I swallowed it for a while. Thank God I am back in the Christ’s Church now.

  • Anonymous

    I see that the Episcopal bishop of the Rio Grande has announced his intention to resign and become a Catholic.

  • I’m way late to this thread, but I have to say…I was miraculously healed through prayer, sacramental and otherwise, by a priest involved in CCR. It’s medically verifiable. I had lost practically all my hearing in one ear, and the disease seemed to be moving into my other ear (Meniere’s disease). The inner ear cells were dead. After the anointing of the sick and my own healing prayer through his suggestion, God healed me. My hearing is 80% returned, and my disease is understood to be in remission. After much prayer and thought, I think I was not completely healed because the weakness reminds me that I need to depend on God for all things. Physical healing is best when it is a means to addressing one’s spiritual healing, and that is certainly how it worked for me. It forced me to recognize that God works in ways I had dismissed; that I had put God in a box.So y’all be careful out there! It can happen to you! And you will, I hope, thank God. I know I do.