Thursday, May 15, 2014

POPE FRANCIS' MORNING MESSAGE FLIES IN THE FACE OF SOUTHERN EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY!

In the south, especially protestant evangelicalism which also infects some Catholics, many Catholics, there is a belief that you can be a Christian and not belong to the Church (and all that it means to "belong").

Often times evangelicals will say that once your accept Christ (usually through a TV ministry) and are saved, then you should go shopping for a church home that will support your acceptance.

This is, of course, not Catholicism but a faux Christianity, although like Protestants, at least Christ is in the picture of a person who claims to be a Christian without a Church, they simply are in partial communion with the Church and extremely partial.

This is what the Holy Father said at this morning Mass at the place of his residence at the Vatican Motel 6 Chapel:

  


Pope at Mass: We are not Christian without the Church


(Vatican Radio) There is no such thing as a Christian without the Church, a Christian who walks alone, because Jesus inserted himself into the journey of His people: This was Pope Francis reflection at Mass this morning in Casa Santa Marta. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3

Beginning with the first reading of the day, Pope Francis said that when they proclaimed Jesus the apostles did not begin with Him, but the history of the people. In fact " Jesus does not make sense without this history" because He "is the end of this story, [the end] towards which this story goes, towards which it walks". So "you cannot understand a Christian outside of the people of God. The Christian is not a monad", but "belongs to a people: the Church. A Christian without a church is something purely idealistic, it is not real".
"But you cannot understand a Christian alone, just like you cannot understand Jesus Christ alone. Jesus Christ did not fall from the sky like a superhero who comes to save us. No. Jesus Christ has a history. And we can say, and it is true, that God has a history because He wanted to walk with us. And you cannot understand Jesus Christ without His history. So a Christian without history, without a Christian nation, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life".The people of God, "walking with a promise. This dimension, it is important that we always remember this dimension of history:
"A Christian is a [memorioso – living memory] of the history of his people, he is a living memory of his people’s journey, he is the living memory of his Church. Memory ... memory of all of the past ... Then, where is this people going? Towards the ultimate promise. It is a people walking towards fullness; a chosen people which has a promise for the future and walks toward this promise, towards the fulfillment of this promise. And for this, a Christian in the Church is a man, a woman with hope: hope in the promise. It is not expectation: no, no! That’s something else: It is hope. Right, on we go! [Towards] that which does not disappoint".
"Looking back - said the Pope - the Christian is a person who remembers: Let us seek the grace of memory, always. Looking forward, the Christian is a man, a woman of hope . And in this, the Christian follows the path of God and renews the covenant with God. He continually says to the Lord: 'Yes, I want the commandments, I want your will, I will follow you'. He is a man of the covenant, and we celebrate the covenant, every day " in the Mass: thus a Christian is "a woman, a man of the Eucharist". This was the Pope’s concluding prayer:
"It would do us good today to think about our Christian identity. Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: the Church . Without this, we are not Christians. We entered the Church through baptism: there we are Christians. And for this reason, we should be in the habit of asking for the grace of memory, the memory of the journey that the people of God has made; also of personal memory: What God did for me, in my life, how has he made me walk ... Ask for the grace of hope, which is not optimism: no, no! It 's something else. And ask for the grace to renew the covenant with the Lord who has called us every day. May the Lord give us these three graces, which are necessary for the Christian identity".

16 comments:

JBS said...

Christ founded His Church upon the Holy Apostles, whose successors are the bishops, tracing their ordinations in a unbroken line back to the apostles, so that a "church" is by definition a "flock" of Christians with a successor of the apostles as its "shepherd". If you ain't got no bishop, you ain't got no church.

Gene said...

I previously posted this in the wrong thread:

I really like what the Pope says in this message…"without a Christian nation…" how 'bout that all you libs and Obama voters!" Doesn't that just drive you nuts! LOL! Personally, I prefer a return to Christendom...

Gene said...

The Christological Totalitarianism, or the radical sufficiency of Grace, in Calvinist and most protestant theology makes the Chruch, any church, unnecessary. Many, or most, mainline protestants would be uncomfortable admitting that, but it is the logic of their theology.

Robert Kumpel said...

One of the problems we face in the world of perceptions is the replacement of the word "Protestant" with "Christian". This is so widespread that we often hear someone saying, "Among the Christian and Catholic churches…"

I think we need to reclaim the word "Protestant" and use it frequently and wherever it applies. The Catholic Church IS Christianity in its fullest expression. Anything else is just…Protestant.

Gene said...

Robert,
I have heard that as well and it made me angry…protestant presumption.

JBS said...

The poor Puritans/Unitarians seem to have protested and reformed themselves right out of Christianity. Several "mainline" communities seem headed that way, bless their hearts.

Southern Evangelicals, on the other hand, retain an intense desire to know Christ, a desire born of an admirable belief that He really is the eternal Son of God and sole means of eternal salvation. If only these ecclesially separated sons of the South would see that a personal relationship with Christ does not get any more personal than receiving His Body, Blood, soul and divinity in Holy Communion administered by an apostolic bishop, or one of his priests, "in persona Christi capitis".

Desiree said...

That's actually a very good message to Protestants and those people who believe they are closer to God in nature.
I don't understand why people reject Christ's literal being in the Church. If you have a chance to be in His real presence and receive Him then why not take it? I pray everyone learns about the Eucharist, because that was a big selling point for me to convert. As a Protestant I was just trying to fit in with everyone else at the Bible club. As a Catholic, my main purpose is to be at church for Jesus. He's really there, so I am really held accountable and I have something to look forward to.
Protestants have it right about being able to learn more in church, but they don't all agree on the Bible or how to worship. None of them have any authority. Again, everyone is trying to find the right Bible club for them.

What is the point of wasting one's time, energy, and assets without authority or the Eucharist?

Gene said...

JBS, very well put. You can't get more intimate with Christ than the Holy Eucharist. A footnote…it is popular among evangelicals to ask, "when were you saved?" The best answer I ever heard was from the Reformed theologian, Karl Barth who, when speaking at Chicago in the 60's was asked this question from the audience. He replied, "At Calvary."

Desiree said...

Haha! I saw JBS' comment after I posted mine.

Gene said...

Desiree, I have appreciated your humorous characterizations of several of the protestant churches in our conversations. LOL!

rcg said...

The Catholic Church became, to a great degree, what seemed so wrong with Protestant sects: constant ad hoc interpretation of Scripture from personal opinion and the emphasis on social interaction over structured and informed worship. I also think we pushed God out of the sanctuary when we relocated the tabernacle, and that, logically, after turning out backs on Him. We had, and still have, the Real Presence and I tremble to think of how we have behaved in the presence of it.

Desirée said...

Thank you, Mr. Gene. I don't always mean to be funny. ;)

RCG, I understand what you're saying!
Parents are not teaching their children Catholic tradition. America has taken Vatican II and run with it in a way to try to make everyone happy. A priest recently said all that, so I'm not making it up.

Gene said...

Desiree, That is why they were funny…you did not intend them to be. I especially liked the one on Methodism being like "keeping house." LOL! I still laugh about that one.

Gene said...

RCG, tell me about it. I attended a Catholic Church out of state not long ago and the congregation was doing all this charismatic stuff like waving their hands during an impromptu prayer by a Deacon and the sign of peace was like a love fest. It made me want to dump a bag of snakes out in the Church...

George said...

Where this is taken to the extreme is among those who say that they don't need to attend Church because "God is everywhere". True enough. Water vapor is also everywhere in the air around us, but if one is dying of thirst, it not going to do a person much good unless one goes to someplace where it can be consumed.

JBS said...

Fr. MacDonald,

You better be prepared in case Gene walks into your church someday with a bag and begins opening it!