Sunday, 4 May 2014

DO US DISILLUSIONED CATHOLICS NEED A NEW CHURCH?

DO US DISILLUSIONED CATHOLICS NEED A NEW CHURCH?

I was deeply touched and saddened by comments to my Blog yesterday - THE ROMANS DO NOT OWN THE WORD CATHOLIC - from people who had left the Roman Catholic church.

It seems that most ex Catholics are "ex" for the the following reasons:

1. They have been treated very badly by RC clergy.

2. They are rejected by the RC church because of a marriage breakdown.

3. Their years of service and loyalty to the RC church has been ignored or unappreciated.

4. They are put off by RC teachings that cannot be backed up by rationality and the Bible.

5. They are horrified by the sexual abuse scandals and its covering up by church authorities.

6.  They are tired of power hunger clergy and having no say about church activities and funds.

Many of these people have found a warmer welcome in other churches - or are just relieved to have shed the burden of guilt that the RC church has and does impose upon its members.

Reading through all these criticisms I fine myself saying: yes, yes, yes - these people are simply telling the truth.

What is the answer for those of us in the RC church who feel like that? Should we move to other churches? Should we give up on all churches? Or - is it time all of us disillusioned RCs got together and founded a new church (Christian Community) in which we can keep what is GOOD in Catholicism and throw out what is ROTTEN?

In other words should we keep the baby and get rid of the DIRTY WATER?

You see there are things about Catholicism that I love:

1. I love the Word of God in the Bible.

2. I love the 7 Sacraments - which touch us all at pivotal moments in our lives.

3. I love having the Blessed Sacrament "reserved" and I think that this gives Catholic churcches a warmth that "protestant" churches do not have.

4. I love many of the saints of Catholicism - like Francis of Assisi.

5. I like the room we make for Mary - the mother of Jesus - not as a goddess but as a primary example of discipleship. I prefer to call her Saint Mary than all those other crazy titles about virginity and all the rest.

6.  I like the 1973 Mass - with its empahsis on modern language and the gathered community not the latest abomination brought in by Ratzinger.

7. I like colourful liturgy and the smells and bells of Catholicism that allow God to touch us through our senses as well as through our intellect. I find the coldness and bareness of evangelical churches hurtful to my senses.

But the problem is that all these nice things have been HIJACKED by the clerics and hierarchs and they will only allow us access to them if we obey them, give them money and let them use and abuse us.

These monsters have made Jesus into THE PRISONER OF THE TABERNACLE AND CLERGY and they want us to adore them - the middlemen - before they will allow us to love and adore our God.

They want to control our sex life; our schools, our hospitals, our universities, our finances etc and if we do not allow them control over these things they say: WE WILL NOT LET YOU HAVE JESUS.

They also control our baptisms, our weddings, our holy orders and our funerals - because they own the buildings and they can stop us using the buildings that our money and our parents and grandparents money provided them with.

They have even managed to get the state on their side - and the state's civil laws back up their awful canon laws.

Quite literally they have us by the short and curlies!

Ronald Enroth in his book CHURCHES THAT ABUSE lists the 9 signs of an abusive church:
1. Control Orientated Leadership.
2. Spiritual Elitism.
3. Manipulation of Members.
4. Perceived Persecution.
5. Lifestyle Rigidity.
6. Suppression of Dissent.
7. Harsh Discipline of Members.
8. Denounciation of Other Churches.
9. Painful Exit Process.

The RC church has ALL 9 of these signs !!!!!

Can we free ourselves from these spiritual and social slave masters of ours?

Can we RCs to back to the New Testament and start all over again?

Can we have a NEW CHURCH based on Jesus' teachings and the model of the New Testament Church that existed before the pope of Rome and the emperor of Rome did a deal and sold us all down the river?

Should we have a new church?

What should it be like?

What could we call it?

Where can it begin?

Who can start it?

Please - Blog readers - tell me what you think. Give me ideas.

+Pat Buckley
4.5.2014 

8 comments:

  1. I ve been saying that people need a new form of Church to belong to ever since I started responding to posts on this blog. The old maxim (from my Mother is "talk is cheap") So where to from here. I once had a notion of Church based on Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps. A place where all of good will are welcome. Where acredited scripture (both inside and outside the Bible can be read, shared and reflected on with respect) I am not downgrading Christian Faith but acknowledging what St Paul pointed out when he visited Athens and saw a statue dedicated to an unknown God. Sean I came accross an interesting quote from Archbishop Rowan Williams today. "Church is a place where people come to find out what God is up to and get involved" Sean

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  2. P S Some "Protestant" Churches do reserve the Blessed Sacrament. I have seen this more than once. The Diversity of the Anglican Communion includes parishes where one would would think they were on the outskirts of Rome. Perhaps Northern Ireland is unique in the fact that generations have lived with the division between Proddie and Papist. In England the only noticable differences are Celibate Clergy, Restrictions on receiving Communion in the R C Church and R C is the only denomination where communicants are not given the option of Wine at every Mass. Sean


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  3. I'm sure one thing will be set in stone in this "new church"...Pat Buckley will ensure that he, and he alone, is the boss!

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    1. Bishop Pat is our pastor at The Oratory in Larne. The Oratory has a woman Chairperson and a mainly lay governing body.

      All decisions are taken together by the whole community.

      There are no dictators here.

      If a new church emerged I imagine that the structures would be the same.

      Oratory Member

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    2. Dear Oratory Member You are right. However we can not re invent the wheel. We can only try and role it with the least amount of friction. Mistakes will happen. Somebody eventually will do something wrong or inappropriate-thats "fallen humanity". The key is to have transparent mechanisims in place to deal with situations should they arise. I would also explore possabilities of linking with the Anglican Communion or Unitarian Church. I am not an expert on this point and mention it for what it is worth. As I said before The Oratory Society need to start planning for the future. Sean

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  4. If you read Bishop Pat's blog you would know that is exactly what he is against. He sees himself, and all of us, accountable only to God and not to a hierarchy.

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  5. Again I take your point but the reality is that a governing body is a hierarchy by default. Every company that follows company law has a structure of accountability. Accountability has to be measurable by a non biased outside authority. Because Church is human as well as divine church should not stand outside the law. Rome made this mistake many years ago and the remnant of this is stato citta del vaticano. Tread well but tread carefully. Yous have a fantastic opportunity to work for good. Sean

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    1. Anonymous of 5 May 16.386 May 2014 at 19:54

      Sean, I think my comment is out of sync. I was actually responding to the Anonymous that reckoned Bishop Pat was itching to be head of this "new church" and not with what you wrote. I concur with everything you say!

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