Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Open Mouth, Insert Shoes Of The Fisherman
For the second time in the past four days, Pope Benedict XVI has put one of the size 12 hand-stitched Italian Shoes of the Fisherman, foot and all in his rather large German mouth.
As of today the Pope has laid out a traditionalist marker in a document released yesterday proclaiming that the "one Church of Christ . . . subsists in the Catholic Church". It also said Reformed/Protestant churches were not churches "in the proper sense", but were "ecclesial communities"
In the document, issued with the full authority of the Pope, the Vatican has described the Protestant and Orthodox faiths as “not proper Churches”.
The document has been criticized as offensive by some Protestants, the Greek and Russian Orthodox Catholic Church.
At least he is not showing any bias in offending.
The text of the document was written by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Pope Benedict before his election as Pope.
It states that Christ established only one Church here on earth. Other Christian denominations, it argues, cannot be called Churches in the proper sense because they cannot trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles.
On Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI issued a Motu Proprio, literally a declaration in the pope's own name, authorizing wider use of the Latin Mass, an older form of Catholic worship that includes a prayer read only on Good Friday for the conversion of the Jews. The pope removed a rule that had required a bishop's permission before the mass could be used. Now, the liturgy can be used on the authority of an individual parish priest.
Reaction in the Jewish world was divided between those warning of possible setbacks in Jewish-Catholic relations and others saying clarification was needed from the Vatican before judging the pope's declaration.
If I recall recent history correctly, the former Pope, John Paul IIl strove to mend fences that had been torn down. He visited Israel and went to Shabbot service. He issued an apology by the Roman Catholic Church for the travesties that it had inflicted on the Jewish people.
Pope John Paul II also met with the Orthodox Patriarch to heal the wounds between the Orthodox and Roman Churches. The current Pope is giving his best effort to turn the clock back to the Dark Ages.
I don’t care.
I for one never wanted to be a part of THE CHURCH. What THE CHURCH represents is politics and self service. Give me THE BODY OF CHRIST. That is what I want to be a part of.
The Body of Christ is all believers that have joined together for the common purpose of worshiping God, The Father of us all and giving praise to the Name of Jesus, His Son and being in the presence of His Holy Spirit that calls His people together. The Body of Christ is serving and not being served. The Body of Christ is about being a servant, not being exulted.
I feel bad for Pope Benedict the XVI because he just doesn’t get it.