Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A confusing difference...

For this Lutheran it appears that there is hardly anything which is not an occasion for celebrating Mass in the Roman Catholic Church.  It is a confusing thing (coming from a church in which it takes nearly an act of God for us to say a Mass not previously scheduled on the calendar).  We Lutherans seem adept at finding reasons why NOT to have the Mass while Rome seems to delight in using the most innocuous occasion as cause for the Mass.  So I watched as Mass was said on the anniversary of Roe v Wade and will watch as St. Patrick's Day and a host of other occasions mean it is time to vest up and say Mass again.

But it would seem that not only Rome uses a Mass to foster a point of view; some Romans use a Mass to foster a point of view at odds with the stated position of the Roman Church.  While it is certainly different from the theological perspective of the Vatican, here is a Mass entirely outside the scope of the norm promoting a certain point of view.  All of this bothers me somewhat.  You might think that the GLBT agenda is not worth a Mass but clearly there are those who think otherwise.  My only point in this is that whenever we use the Mass to promote a position or point of view -- no matter how orthodox -- I think it diminishes the Mass.  It is sort of like serving chuck steak on the same menu as a dry aged porterhouse -- the chuck steak gains some stature just  by comparison.

I can see how a prayer service or one of the daily offices might suffice for such occasions but I would rather not use the Mass even in the cause of things with which I agree....  In this case, I believe, it is an English congregation.  The sponsor of this mass is known as " Archbishop Vincent Never-Answer-a-Straight-Question Nichols."

Watch this Mass and listen to the prayers to see how the Mass is being used for political purpose.  All I can say is that somewhere a tear falls down the face of a statue of Christ whenever this happens...

The only agenda that should be at work within the Divine Service is the agenda of the means of grace and the saving purpose of God.  To abuse this by substituting our own flimsy ideals is a tragedy.  It almost makes me happy we Lutherans are so hesitant to find a cause for celebrating the Eucharist!

If you have not had enough on this topic, you can find out more about the Archbishop by reading here...


Dixie said...

This reminds me of an episode of Father Ted where they were saying mass on a truck next to an out of control milk trolley going about 4mph to help the fellow priest in the out of control milk trolley. There is a part of me that likes the fact that when there are problems and concerns the Catholics have a mass. God is with us! And a mass is a great reminder of that. But I also think there could be more use made of the rich treasure trove of services in the Roman church.

As far GLBT is concerned however, I do think the churches could do a better job of teaching the issues. GLBT are sinners who need to understand that what they do is sin. That may take awhile. For comparison, how many parishioners overeat not realizing or not controlling the sin they are committing? I think churches are so vehemently anti-GLBT but let gluttony root in the pews. That doesn't make sense to me...a glutton.

Anonymous said...

I see that this congregation is located in Britain. If you know British culture, Pastor Peters, then you are aware that cross-dressing is an accepted and commonly celebrated pastime among British males. Why has such behavior been tolerated in Britain. We see where it leads.

Britain is the most politically correct country in the world. How did that society get that way. Have you ever met a British moral conservative. Do we have the Anglican church to thank for encouraging such beliefs.

Why does the Catholic church tolerate such a bishop?

As a Lutheran, I am very proud of the fact that I was taught that unrepentant homosexuals are damned. This has kept me from ever considering experimenting with that lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

We Lutherans seem adept at finding reasons why NOT to have the Mass while Rome seems to delight in using the most innocuous occasion as cause for the Mass.

Well, not entirely Pastor. The Mass is considered the Church's most powerful prayer and the merits of Christ's sacrifice are pleaded on her altars daily. When Mass is held on St. Patrick's Day here St. Patrick is certainly commemorated and there is a great deal of pride in the Irish community but it is still the same Mass.

As for Archbishop Nichols, the news is making the rounds:

Evidence of public dissent from the Catholic Faith at the Soho ‘Gay Pride’Mass 2011

By Deacon Nick, on August 10th, 2011

The Archdiocese of Westminster holds regular Masses for homosexuals, bisexuals, and transvestites that many Catholics are concerned have become a focus for open and public defiance of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality and authority. Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, has dismissed these concerns and has publicly castigated faithful Catholics who have raised them telling them to ‘hold their tongues’.

To use a very British term, what a cheeky fellow. It seems that the Archbishop is determined to follow his familiars in the Anglican church in his views about homosexuality.

Yes, he is a scandal and scandals have been around since day one.

I suspect we haven't heard the last of this.

Dixie raises a good point. GLBT issues are indeed still very uncomfortable for many Christians but they do need to be addressed.
There are faithful GLBT Christians who carry their cross daily.


Anonymous said...

As a Lutheran, I am very proud of the fact that I was taught that unrepentant homosexuals are damned.

Really? You are "proud" at the idea of another's damnation?

There's an interesting bit of Jewish midrash (rabbinic story) that centers on the Exodus of the Hebrews:

Soon after they leave their homes pharaoh changes his mind and sends soldiers after the Hebrews, but when the former slaves reach the Sea of Reeds the waters part so that they can escape. When the soldiers try to follow them, the waters crash down upon them. According to Jewish legend, when the angels began rejoicing as the Hebrew escaped and the soldiers drowned God reprimanded them, saying: "My creatures are drowning, and you're singing songs!" This midrash (teaches us that we should not rejoice in the sufferings of our enemies. (Telushkin, Joseph. "Jewish Literacy." pgs 35-36).


Anonymous said...

You take my words out of context. I do not rejoice in someone being damned. Having been taught that homosexuals (unrepentant ones) are damned has kept me from entertaining the thought of committing a homosexual act. I am proud of the fact that such teaching has kept me from ever being tempted to commit such an act.

By the way, God calls homosexuality an abomination and not simply a sin. It is placed on the same level as child sacrifice and witchcraft. Perhaps Pastor Peters can tell us the difference between an abomination and a sin.

Terry Maher said...

Why is this remarkable at all, or make any difference?

The RCC committed a far greater abuse in morphing and perverting the mass into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, so what further abuse it undergoes within that context is small potatoes.

Anonymous said...

I am proud of the fact that such teaching has kept me from ever being tempted to commit such an act.

Seems to me that most people with a heterosexual orientation aren't tempted either.

Jesus had some words to say about the prostitutes and tax collectors going into the Kingdom before self-righteous folks.

Sin is sin.

As for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I pray that I am never deprived of it.


Anonymous said...

The key word is not homosexual but unrepentant... All are sinners and no sin is of greater or lesser value before the all holy God. Every repentant sinner who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.

Anonymous said...

The priest says, "In this season of pride..."

No, kidding.

Embracing diversity? Um, no. It embraces sin and calls it euphemistically, diversity.

This semantic substitution is a perversion. The diversity God has created is good. While the perversions of men are evil. They are not equivalent.

The fact that there are both many kinds of good and many kinds of evil does not mean all are good just because there are many kinds. Just having many kinds is not of itself good.

Anonymous said...

Christine, re. the Midrash. I believe this is also the reason why, on Passover, the head of the household having filled the cup to the brim, puts his finger into it to take out a drop. No one should rejoice with a full cup when part of the story involves the death of the Egyptian soldiers.

George A. Marquart

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the Roman Catholic church allow priests, nuns, and monks to marry. We now see the results. More church-sanctioned perversion:


The Roman Catholic church needs to change before this problem bankrupts it.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the Roman Catholic church allow priests, nuns, and monks to marry. We now see the results. More church-sanctioned perversion:

Well, actually, there are Roman Catholic priests who are married. Some are former Lutherans and Anglicans. The Church just received several more from the Anglicans in the Anglican Ordinariate.

I had a rather strong argument with an LCMS pastor about this. He insisted that married Anglican clergy who become Catholic priests are required to live chaste lives with their wives, i.e., no sexual relations. Er, not.

Celibacy is not the cause of child sexual molestation, as is evidenced by what happened at Penn State and by the married men who travel to Asia in order to find children to prey on.

No one is excusing the bishops for their abject failure in anticipating, exposing and handling what happened in the Catholic Church and steps have been taken to keep a viligant eye that it never happens again. The institution can never come before the safety of children. It is also worth nothing that the majority of Catholic priests have not committed such heinous acts.

On the local news this week a retired police officer was arraigned for trying to solicit a 12 year old girl online and a teacher for sending sexual text messages to his students. There have also been exposures of local Protestant clergy caught up in the same mess.

Yes, the church has sinners. Has had them from day one.


Anonymous said...

make that "worth noting".

If a man has homosexual or pedophile proclivities marriage ain't gonna help. Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson is a stellar example, married and with children, left his wife to "marry" his male partner.


Great comment, thanks!


Terry Maher said...

Georg is more or less correct. This happens at Magid, "the telling", the 5th of the 12 parts of the seder, when the second cup is drunk. But, everyone does this, not just the head of the household, and, it is after the Ten Plagues are told, because some of God's creatures (human and otherwise) had to suffer during the plagues, not the soldiers in the parting of the Sea, ten drops, one for each plague.

This practice, the Haggadah explains, derives from the rabbinic story that in the parting of the Sea, the angels broke into songs of joy, and God rebuked them, saying, My creatures are dying, and you sing praises?

Extra credit question: there are four cups of wine at the Passover (well, if you don't count Elijah's). At which one did Jesus depart from the traditional text and say "This is my blood"?

Good thing the "Last Supper" was nothing like the famous painting, and done reclining, because the Apostles, hearing that rather than what they were expecting, would have fallen out their chairs!