Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Standing Ovation for Bishop Tobin of Rhode Island

Bishop Tobin of Rhode Island has banned Congressman Patrick Kennedy from receiving Communion. The media is having a field day with this one. (The fact that the media is having a field day with this is very unfortunate because that means that they are not used to the Catholic Bishops exercising their authority to ban pro-choice politicians from the Communion Table. It is common knowledge that there are plenty of outspoken pro-choice Catholic politicians that should be banned from receiving Communion)

I have the utmost respect for Bishop Tobin and his decision against Congressman Kennedy. This action of the Church is not dissimilar to St. Paul's actions regarding the Church in Corinth where an openly sinful man was expelled from the community due to his actions 1 Cor 5:1-13. Congressman Kennedy has been put outside of the Grace received from the Lord's Supper. More than anything, this is an act of love of the Church.

The Church, by expelling him from the Eucharistic Table, is showing the world and all faithful Catholics the difference between right and wrong. Congressman Kennedy has a very poor view of Catholic Teaching regarding life. As a politician, he causes confusion (scandal) amongst the faithful because he is a publicly pro-choice Catholic. Some may get the impression that it is legitmate to be Catholic and Pro-Choice. Bishop Tobin has made it perfectly clear that this is not permisable.

My hope and prayer is that more Bishops would follow Bishop Tobin's lead and start sending clear messages to pro-choice Catholic politicians and the rest of the world, that to be pro-choice and Catholic is ridiculous. My prayer is also for my pro-choice Catholic brothers and sisters, that they would reconsider the teachings of Christ as it relates to the sanctity of life.

God bless...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reformation Sunday :- One Protestant Minister's Perspective

Believe it or not, I have spent most of my life as a Protestant, and I had no idea that there was a such thing as Reformation Day, until now. Reformation Day is the annual celebration commemorating the day when Martin Luther posted his 95 Thesis, which most believe was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation (or Protestant Revolt...depending on your view).

A friend of mine recently sent me an article that a Protestant pastor published regarding his thoughts on Reformation Day. Stanley Hauerwas is a Duke Divinity School professor and Protestant Minister. Some of his thoughts are below:

Reformation names the disunity in which we currently stand. We who remain in the Protestant tradition want to say that Reformation was a success. But when we make Reformation a success, it only ends up killing us. After all, the very name ‘Protestantism’ is meant to denote a reform movement of protest within the Church Catholic. When Protestantism becomes an end in itself, which it certainly has through the mainstream denominations in America, it becomes anathema. If we no longer have broken hearts at the church’s division, then we cannot help but unfaithfully celebrate Reformation Sunday.


I often point out that at least Catholics have the magisterial office of the Bishop of Rome to remind them that disunity is a sin. You should not overlook the significance that in several important documents of late, John Paul II has confessed the Catholic sin for the Reformation. Where are the Protestants capable of doing likewise? We Protestants feel no sin for the disunity of the Reformation. We would not know how to confess our sin for the continuing disunity of the Reformation. We would not know how to do that because we have no experience of unity.

You can read the whole sermon at Stanley Hauerwas on Reformation Sunday.

So what do you think? Is Stanley Hauerwas position regarding Refomation Sunday an accurate one? Is Reformation Sunday something that should be celebrated, or is it something that all Christians should look back on with shame? Are you still broken-hearted over the disunity within the Body of Christ - the Church? If not, why not? Is there still hope for reunification of the Church?

God bless...