Monday, April 12, 2004

From Virtuosity
How well-meaning conservative Christians can make a mistake
Of course it was good of these people to refuse to go along with the Episcopal Church's new claim that practising homosexuality and being a reverend father in God are compatible, but:

"For months, we didn't come to Communion," (parishioner Lisa) Ball said.

"They're now taking Communion because they like the person," (opposing parishioner Ann) Elkins said.

Sorry, but Ann Elkins has a point here. Refusing a sacrament because of the personal character of the minister is heresy (in this case Donatism), not the Catholic faith including the apostolic ministry. The apostolic ministry doesn't work that way! Maybe the Church of the Redeemer is Low Church.

Now if the offending cleric is fiddling with the rite, the content of the service, that changes things. The content and objective character of the church's mediæval rites as handed down are supposed to prevent that - they protect the people from the priest's failings and perhaps vice versa. But most churches today don't keep that safeguard.

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