Category: By Christian
I'm always amazed that Catholics and Protestants can't get along a little better in America. We don't kill each other like the groups have been known to do in other parts of the world, but the overall climate of the relationship seems to be far from polite. Honestly. We both profess Christ, which is a pretty big common denominator. We were talking in my worship class a few weeks ago about how it can be hard to branch into some worship practices, because people will view them as being "too Catholic". I've actually heard that in churches before, and it disappoints me.

I understand that Protestants can feel alienated by the Catholic Church. Many people have expressed how frustrating it is to have to sit out communion, especially when you grow up Catholic and then marry outside of Catholicism. But I also think that it is a bit presumptuous for Protestants to discount an expression of loving Christ that predates our own (fill in the blank..."religion", "denomination", "movement"). That's cutting out a huge chunk of Christianity and not showing it the validity and respect it deserves.

This whole discussion has been going on between the voices in my head this week as I have become very excited about a couple of things that have gone down in the last couple of weeks. First, Pope Benedict XVI appears to be close to abandoning the doctrine that unbaptised infants go to limbo instead of to heaven. A report from the Catholic News Service noted that "There is greater theological awareness today that God is merciful and wants all human beings to be saved. Grace has priority over sin, and the exclusion of innocent babies from heaven does not seem to reflect Christ's special love for the little ones."

It might seem like a small concession, but you must understand that when you are talking about a movement as large and as old as the Catholic Church, change happens slowly. To loosen the doctrine concerning baptism is a huge deal, and I believe it shows good signs about how people are taking to heart important paradigms of God's character.

The other big development is the release of The Pope's new book. In "Jesus of Nazareth", he offers a personal meditation on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ...criticizing the "cruelty" of capitalism's exploitation of the poor but also decrying the absence of God in Marxism."

That's what I'm talking about. If you can read Latin, pick it up now. The rest of us will have to wait for the English version to drop in Mid-May.

Fair Dinkum

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