Monday, July 21, 2008

Respecting the beliefs of others you reject

The last president de jure, that we had, and his wife, Hillary received Communion in Africa, and I was in askance, that, the press did not question the propriety. Now, recently, the sometimes atheist, Sally Quinn* has discussed receiving Communion in a manner of droit de dilettante. She admitted, that, this was the first time she transgressed the Catholic Sacrament. Somewhere the supporting views of several ‘religious figures’ were provided . I recognised only the name, Deepak Chopra, the semi-hindoo charlatan; none appeared to be catholic or orthodox. They all seemed in agreement of an, inclusive, non-doctrinaire, new age Christ, Whom, they approve of, and who they allow to confirm their views.

Now, the catholic and orthodox world share the belief of the actuality of that Sacrament. We believe the words of Jesus in the Gospels, Matthew, and at length in John; not as some christians [read protestants] who disbelieve and transform their teachings into Scripture. The latin west uses the term ‘transubstantiation’ for the mystery, the orthodox east believes in the same mystery, but do not use the language.
“For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise we have been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” — Justin Martyr †165, First Apology
The Sacrament, in both churches, is equally valid. The Orthodox do not find it licit for Catholics to receive. I had a priest, at the cathedral, answer my question, in this manner: you recognise the validity of another man’s marriage to his wife, you do not honor that Sacrament by partaking of his wife. It is a scandal, that, we are not in communion; may God, in His mercy, end this millennium of separation.
“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again.”— Ignatius of Antioch, †110, Epistle to Smyrnaeans
Now, what the protestant, and non-christian world believe about their counterpart to Our Sacrament, or about Our Sacrament, is irrelevant for us. It is incumbent on their exercise of good will, to respect the beliefs of others, that, they reject. Yet, they seem not only ready to ridicule and denigrate, but to dictate and act out. It is wonderfully remarkable, that, in the US, that, all are free to criticise Catholicism. It is not publicly respected, that, catholics are to defend themselves, and their beliefs.

We are a voluntary association, we welcome new members, but people who are not members can not, reasonably, expect us to bend to their whims and dictates. Everyone is free to join, and accept, or not. You are free to believe what you will, we are free to believe what we believe. If you can not behave civilly towards us, it is to your discredit, and shame, not ours.

In the early generations of the protestant heresies, Mary was not attacked, and many, other, current, american, protestant, hang ups were not much mentioned. In France, most of the printed attacks were on the celebration of the Eucharist. What, turned the monarchy against the movement, of prétendus réformés, was the gall and audacity, of the wording, on the placarding of France. Luther, never posted on a door; but the proto-huguenots did. They posted on the king’s door, and throughout Paris, and four other cities, on the night of 17/18 October, 1534. They posted the most abusive language: blasphemous, and designed to cause outrage. This is the “Affair of the Placards” in the history of France.

The item that most perplexed me, concerning the Republican side show, of the persecution, of Bill Clinton, was his statement, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” It dumbfounded me. This was the origin of that absurdity. Did Jesus mean, what he said? or not? Here is where the ‘sola scriptura’ crowd and ‘bible believing literalists’ obfuscate and prevaricate. Is means is; an identity redundancy; a tautology. Any clever game of invented semantics is false.
And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.— Matthew xxvi. 26-28.
*of the Washington Post and Newsweek, self styled master of theology, and friend of Jon Beacham, self conferred doctorate of theology and american history.

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