Catholicism and Anglicanism: the end of an era

The first wave of reactions to the October 20 Vatican announcement of a new arrangement for receiving into the Catholic … Continued

The first wave of reactions to the October 20 Vatican announcement of a new arrangement for receiving into the Catholic Church groups of Anglican clergy and laity who would retain distinctive elements of their spiritual and liturgical heritage tended toward the critical: Rome’s move, it was suggested, was a new obstacle to Anglican-Catholic dialogue, an act of ecclesiastical “poaching,” and a retreat from the ecumenical commitments of the Second Vatican Council. What the Vatican intended as an act of ecumenical hospitality, however, was also bit of theological shock-therapy: a moment of clarification in a situation that had begun to resemble an ecumenical Wonderland in which well-intentioned people taught themselves impossible things before breakfast.

Many of the practical details of the new arrangement remain unsettled, for the text of the Apostolic Constitution that Benedict XVI will issue, creating “personal ordinariates” by which Anglicans can enter into full communion with Rome under the spiritual guidance of Anglican clergy who will be ordained as Catholic priests, has not been completed. Nonetheless, the announcement does mark the end of an era in Anglica-Catholic relations, which began with a pioneering ecumenical dialogue led by the Belgian Cardinal Desire Mercier and the British statesman Lord Halifax after World War I. That era reached its apogee at Vatican II in the mid-1960s, when corporate reunion between Canterbury and Rome seemed to many an achievable, short-term goal.

As both Anglicanism and Catholicism sought to find their way through the cultural whitewater of late modernity, however, the theological premise on which an era of good feelings had been based – that Anglicanism and Catholicism both affirmed the binding character of apostolic tradition, which in turn led to a common understanding of the priesthood and the sacraments – began to seem less a given than a hope. The tensions were evident more than twenty years ago, in a historic exchange of letters among Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Robert Runcie of Canterbury, and Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, the veteran Dutch ecumenist then leading the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The Pope and the cardinal asked Runcie to explain the reasoning that had led certain parts of the Anglican communion to ordain women to the ministerial priesthood. Runcie replied in largely sociological, rather than theological, terms, citing women’s changing roles in business, culture, and politics. By the end of the exchange, in 1986, a parting of the ways had been reached: the highest authorities of the Catholic Church believed that apostolic tradition, not misogyny, precluded ordination to the priesthood, which Catholics understood in iconographic terms as a sacramental representation of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Archbishop Runcie and those whom he represented believed that contemporary human insights into gender roles trumped apostolic tradition and necessitated a development of both doctrine and practice.

Rome could not accept that as a legitimate development of Christian self-understanding. Catholic authorities also feared that this approach to the authority of tradition would inevitably lead to an Anglican re-conception of the moral law on a host of issues, including the morality of homosexual acts. That, too, happened, fracturing the Anglican Communion in the process. Now, Anglicans who have come to accept the Catholic view that what numerous Anglican authorities understood as a legitimate development of doctrine was in fact an abandonment of the very idea of “doctrine” have been offered a path into full communion with the Catholic Church that honors the distinctiveness of their spiritual and liturgical traditions.

Which, in the end, may actually clarify things. The theological gulf between Rome and Canterbury had become wider, not narrower, since Vatican II. An honest recognition of that fact might lead to a more fruitful, less fantasy-driven theological dialogue, as well as to new and intriguing historical explorations of just what the English Reformation entailed, back in the 16th century.

GEORGE WEIGEL, a Newsweek contributor, is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center.

  • justillthennow

    It seems that Mr. Weigel is saying is that the Catholic Church yet has further hope that it does not need to change it’s doctrine in the face of a tide of changing human culture and thought regarding religion. Rome has changed for centuries, going through huge doctrinal and moral ebbs and flows. There is no doubt that change is occurring, yet as is the case in any organization, traditionalism puts up a fight to salvage what is viewed as the old and correct ways. An Angelican shot in the arm will not change change.

  • usr105

    Actually the Roman Catholic Church has made major changes over the years … Papal Infallibility and the Assumption of Mary are fairly recent phenomena in church history. The prohibition of married priests was promulgated much farther back but does not extend to the beginning of the church.

  • joseph_joseph1

    Several bloggers have also noted the remarkable timing of Pope Benedict’s offer to the Anglicans–that of the feast of St Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionist order.The Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry on St Paul of the Cross explains how he prayed for over 50 years for the conversion and reconciliation of England.Perhaps the timing of this offer by the Pope on St Paul of the Cross’ feast day was intentional, given Paul’s fervent desire for the reconciliation with the Church of England.I wrote a brief article concerning St Paul of the Cross and his desire for the reunion of the Anglicans. For those interested it can be found here:Joseph

  • justillthennow

    Hello TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ1, Thank you for your posts, and the time that it must have taken you to compose them. They were informative, in some warped sense to be clear, and a curious view on the term Justification.The Church did indeed change and evolve over the centuries, and continues to do so, in a halting, back stepping, counterproductive kind of way. Definition of doctrine and dogma are somewhat strange to me. Nothing can never change. It does, has, and will as needs be. The Church has effectively changed dramatically through the centuries. It is meaningless propaganda, Justification, and poppy cock to assert that it is Everlasting In Righteousness and Truth…And it is political, which is a transient art, and politics and an ongoing struggle for survival and continuing abundance is part of what must be driving the Popes overtures to the Anglican Communion. Change is required for the room being made, and will result from the process. The only eternal connection to the Creator, if one exists, is in the eternal soul, individual and unique and of God. It is not in a church any more than it is in a Mercedes Benz or a body or a belief. All corrodes and are a stack of bones. The Church is no different, although one must respect that it is still an institution, (albeit a very changed one :-0 ), after all this time. They got some longevity, that is clear! Time to make way for married priests! Hey, do you think a seminarian could go the Anglican way, and then after a few short years and a beautiful wedding, convert back to Catholicism?


    IN REPLY T0 (IRT)IRT:ANS:Consequently, an administrative change recently was eating meat on Friday. The doctrine was that man must offer some sacrifice to God; how this was to be realized is determined by the Church. As the conditions of time change, so does the aspect of the way the offering changes to meet the conditions of the times.Administratively, priest could marry, but that was administratively changed. Women ordination is a doctrinal change and can never change. When something is declared a doctrine, it does not mean that the doctrine was created by the Church. To the contrary, it means that the doctrine is now definitive, unequivocal, determinate, and authoritatively defined. Prior to a dogma being declared, the dogma is said to be undefined, however it remains a truth defined or not. When it is authoritatively or magisterially declared and defined, the doctrine by Church authority must be believed.A doctrine is defined when there arises a dispute over its meaning. Thus, once the Church speaks, the doctrine must be understood under the terms that the Church defines it. The Doctrine is not created, it is only defined.Infallibility was given to the Church before Jesus ascended into Heaven. Thus, it is written:Mt 28:20 – INFALIBILITY:Mt 10: 20 INFALIBILITYJohn 15:26-27; Mt 28:20; Mt 10: 20; INFALIBILITY”When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” Hence, infallibility has always been a doctrine. When disputes over its efficacy arose it was defined as a dogma ending all disputes.


    IN REPLY TO (IRT)IRT:Does the Church change? It changes only in its presentation and its efficacy; its teachings and beliefs are unchangeable and unfathomable. Her gifts are unbounded in majesty and nobility. Her fruits personify her authenticity.A nation’s prosperity and social harmony are directly proportional to that nation’s consonance to Her moral laws of which She is the guardian because Her moral teaching are inscribed in human nature.Nowhere is there any other institution that can trumpet the impeccable certitude professed in Her teachings and truths, that embodies Her doctrines and beliefs because Her truths are guarded by the Holy Spirit.Ironically, those who criticize Her stateliness have no sense of Who and What She is, of Her majesty, Her mystery, the depth of her profound dispensations, libations, and oblations that She gives to those who seek Her Truths. Consequently, Her treasures are beyond the understanding of Her critics who stand outside of Her awesome presence. Thus, GK Chesterton writes, “The Christian idea has not been tried and found wanting, but has been found wanting but has never been tried.”

  • justillthennow

    I am sorry, TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ1, You are just a bit beyond indoctrinated for me…You are either a fraud, (I am however mortified, (being of the latin root of ‘dead’) that I do not believe this), and are having a nice bit of sarcastic fun, orYou are seriously indoctrinated and believe this propaganda about Her, the Roman Catholic Church, royal and bounteous in Her Dispensations to the Afflicted Holy and Illbegotten yet Pure, Sacred to the Church and Coveted by Her to Lift Up to their Heavenly Home.I did like your poetic work. Nice job. I believe you believe it. and that is good enough. But really, dude, chill on the Serious Button. Noone, and no Church, will get you to the Holy Land.

  • jbedia

    CHANGE? The Roman CC has gone through and survived BIGGER and more important challenges throughout the ages. In my judgment (IMJ), opponents of the church doctrines and its cohorts have a huge FALSE SENSE of POWER and AUDACITY to think that this generation can overturn and rise above the doctrines of the Church. They should leave the church alone to shepherd it’s flock.

  • justillthennow

    Hello TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ1, I wrote: “No one, and no Church, will get you to the Holy Land.”This is my belief, and clearly is not yours. That is fine with me. The point of my statement was not for the purpose of refuting the value that any institution or human may have for anothers journey to Reunion with God. It was as clarification that no “other”, human, Church, institution or organism, holds the key for anothers Realization of that aim. In other words, for me, the key to God Realization lies within ourselves, not outside. This of course goes counter to the teachings and doctrine of not only the Catholic Church, but mainstream Christianity in general, and is shared by many of the worlds religions. Among other reasons this is a tactic for legitimacy and viability. I am happy if one finds a home in the Church, and if the Ritual and Sacrament serves them. I like much of it, as I was raised in the Church. “No one comes to God except through His Church, implicitly or explicitly because all benefits, all graces, come from God who is the head of the Catholic Church.”If you wish to buy that and believe it as so, good luck and God Bless. But I do not. God, whatever that may be, (and to me it is FAR beyond what any church of religion proposes), is not limited to any road or alleyway in Creation. God is available inside of and throughout all of the manifest world, centered inside of us. I need no church to validate it or sanctify it or legitimize it. One of the main fulcrum points of Good and Evil, and the acts that humans do on either side of that scale, is the preposterous presumption of Exclusivity of Truth. Religious Self Righteousness and Arrogance in the belief of sole proprietorship of God… There is no such thing, but humans have done some hell making on earth, in the name of God, under the assumption of Spiritual Exclusivity. An Exclusivity just exactly like you are proposing is owned by the Roman Catholic Church. The RCC is one of the biggest perpetrators of spiritual indignities and evildoing that we have known, historically. This does not invalidate that the RCC has and is doing great good and acts of love and compassion. But those acts, likewise, do not erase the spiritual insults that result from it’s arrogant claim of exclusivity of Truth.Nothing is further from the Truth. God is in all, for all, and expresses as all of the diversity that is Manifest by God.In my view.peace be with you, TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ1.

  • cprferry

    “women were very active in the leadership of the infant church in the first centuryWomen are very active in the leadership of the Church in the twenty-first century as well. Much like the accounts in the Bible, they serve as teachers (from pre-school to seminary), administrative leaders (the Archdiocese’ current Chancellor, the highest position held by a lay or religious member), and other important roles. However, they can not stand in persona Christi in Mass and do not serve as priests.

  • CalSailor

    Mr Weigel has managed to dump the whole problem of the inability of Anglicans and Catholics to reunite on the ordination of women as priests in the Anglican communion. Again, it is all women’s faults.For Mr Weigel: The Lutheran Churches decided women’s ordination not on sociological bases–on other career fields–but on the basis of the gospel: They acknowledge that scriptural witness to the roles of women are ambivalent (on the one hand: Keep silent; on the other, wear a headcovering when she prays…etc.) Unlike Rome, which seems to have to explain away clear NT and early church documents and other witnesses that show that women were very active in the leadership of the infant church in the first century, the Lutheran theologians weighed evidence on both sides of the issue, and concluded that it was neither as supportive as some would have wished, but not as negative as Rome seems to assume. In the end, they were left with the position that we can only reply as we believe God is calling us to, and so, if this is of God, it will prosper, if not, it will not. It is clear, I think, that it prospers. The women clergy of the Lutheran Churches are preaching the same gospel and celebrating the same Sacraments as their male counterparts. Their congregations are growing in the same manner as their male counterparts, and the Church believes their vocations are true.Mr Weigel, what is ultimately at issue for many women: Rome’s insistance that only men (males) can properly represent Christ leads to the conclusion that Christ the Savior was savior because he is male, not because he was human. In Latin this is clear, in English, not so common. But Rome’s insistence on the retention of “man” where common English usage requires “people” or “person” supports this suspicion. This leads many women to wonder: If Christ’s importance is because he is male (vir) and not human (homo), what about the half the population which is homo, but not vir? I would submit to you, sir, that Rome’s position is not just sexist, but it ultimately denies the gospel to half the world’s population.Pr Chris

  • ThomasBaum

    cprferryYou wrote, “However, they can not stand in persona Christi in Mass and do not serve as priests.”Question: Women can not be deacons either can they?Women were deacons in the “early church”, were they not?When you speak of “persona Christi”, I imagine you are speaking of Jesus, right?Wasn’t Jesus a human being, aren’t women human beings?Are you implying that since Jesus was a Male that only males can be priests?By that line of reasoning, since Jesus was a Jew, should the priesthood be limited to those that are Jewish?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • CalSailor

    CFPerry:However, they can not stand in persona Christi in Mass and do not serve as priests.WHY?(You only have one response: Because Jesus was vir, not homo. I rest my case.The Creed, however, says that he became man (homo). Women are homo. Why can they not stand in persona Christi?)As to the rest of your argument: Yes, women are active in the church in the 21st century. However, women today are not as free as they were in earliest centuries. Paul called at least one woman an apostle, he called others his co-workers and equals in the Lord’s work. Women led house churches, they preached and evangelized. In Galatians Paul defined the distinction of male and female as non-existent in the Church. It is the central argument of Galatians; that there are no “ranks” in the church, no distinctions. The Church’s restrictions are NOT based on scripture, but on tradition. By scripture, only Jewish males can be ordained. (there were plenty of non-Jewish males available in the world at that time, even in Jerusalem. But Jesus only ordained Jews. Why is that not “tradition.” And, I’m accepting the Church’s “tradition” that he “ordained” them. He never “ordained” anyone, not according to what we understand as ordination. A number of Roman Catholic Scipture scholars are agreed that that word is a later interpretation. So why is the tradition of “male” kept but not the tradition of “Jewish” kept?Pr Chris

  • CalSailor

    CPFerry:Let me draw one further conclusion: Women were leaders of house churches; there is ample evidence to support this. Therefore, as head of the house church, THEY were probably the eucharistic celebrants…at least until redefinition and men took over…in none of the Eucharistic texts does it require a MALE to be celebrant. It recounts that “you” shall do it in this manner….and recounts the Holy Thursday events of the Last Supper. It narrates what Jesus did and tells his followers to do likewise. There was no specific celebrant mentioned. By cultural norms, then, the groups leader, whoever and what ever position he or she held, would have been the host of the meal. And celebrant.I am just amazed at the tortured logic that Roman Catholicism uses. I think it is like the argument I used to hear from Marines: We say women can’t do this, because if they could do it, it wouldn’t be worth doing. If women could be in true leadership roles in the Church, pastoral leadership roles! maybe they’d do it better. I wonderPr Chris

  • justillthennow

    Hello Fritzpatrick,To expand a bit further on your last point of Resemblance, it does appear that the Catholic Church rationalization for only male priests is a bit of a fixation on one physical trait or characteristic with little attention to the others. Sex is clearly held up as a limitation and demarcation so that being female is being not like Christ, while any of the other human traits are given little limiting significance. It plays out as sexist, in the end. By the common perceptions of Jesus, and certainly those held up by Catholics but Christians in general as well, the ‘maleness’ of Jesus is one of the least stressed aspects of his incarnation. The traits that are most identified with Christ and those most amplified are humanistic and beyond sex. Kindness, forgiveness, compassion, love, heart based communion with others, devotion and fixity upon his message and the greater good, etc. Sex does not play into the storyline.But it does play into the storyline of the Roman Catholic Church’s concerns, here in the costume of Resemblance.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    The Anglilcan / Episcopal Church is splitting in two over the issue of homosexauliaty and how to deal with the reality of gay people in the world. The Catholic Church is exploiting this moment of weakness to swoop down on its struggling brethren to damage them even more. Yet, this same struggle goes on inside the Catholic Church. And even, in most churches. I beleive that in the coming years, most mainline churches, and the Catholic Church as well, will be deeply split over the issue of homosexuality, even fragmenting into complete separation, the many into the many more. For in every church, there is a faction that cannot cope with the emergence of gay people as a legitimate group in society, versus the other faction, which seeks to welcome them with open arms, and undo centuries of injustice.I think the Catholic Church is a freak show, virulently homophobic, seeking the destruction of gay people, and of their families, yet giving refuge to closetted and repressed gay priests, and sheltering a gay Pope, who pretends to be straight, even as he seeks to suppress the emergence of gay people into modern society.How can any sane person make any sense of this?

  • fritzpatrick

    Here’s a theory concerning “resemblance to Christ,” the Roman Catholic criterion for being a priest and one reason that church ordains only males. Don’t think about our resemblance to Christ but Christ’s to us. Jesus became like us in all things but sin, and this is the way we are saved. Our identity includes several variables, including body size and shape, skin color, language, culture, and sex. We can be only one of the multiple values under each category. Suppose the eternal Son had thought to himself: “I’m going to save all those people by being like them, so I’ll speak every language, participate in every culture, have every color, size and shape, and be both sexes.” Would he then have been like all of us? In fact, he would have been like no one. In Paul’s theology the incarnation is a divine emptying—not clinging to the fullness of being but becoming one particular instance of the kind of being called human, having one body shape and size, one color, one (or at most a few) languages, one culture, and one sex. After all, each of us is only one particular instance of human being. In this way Jesus became like all of us, who can’t be everything but only: tall or short, fat or skinny, 21st century American or 1st century Jew or whatever, woman or man. I can’t be sure, but I think this is the theology of “resemblance” that should determine who is eligible for ordination. Change does not mean abandoning tradition. Appropriate change comes with understanding it. It may be, in fact, that Romans and Anglicans have exactly the same attitude toward tradition but need to come together on understanding.

  • djccq

    Why in the world would anyone waste one moment discussing anything that George Weigel has to say? Didn’t early church fathers supposedly argue about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin? This whole discussion is comparable, in my opinion. Maybe some Catholics like me who consider Weigel and his compadres pompous bores will start looking for Anglican parishes – who knows and/or cares?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    JusttillthennowI am just pointing out the elephant in the room, that the Pope is one of those “intrinsically disordered” gay people that he and his church revile. What a confused mess: aggressive homophobia promoted by a closetted gay clergy. What is one to make of this twisted confusion that calls itself “theology?It is beyond mental disorder; it is a malignant disease which motivates this monstrosity of “Christian” theology. Tennesee Williams hinmself could not have dreamed up a more sexually perverse, twisted, and dark story line that is the sad truth about the Catholic Church.The Catholic Church presses ever onward with its homophobic agenda, yet complains bitterly when any criticism is offered up in response. Am I anti-Catholic? I do not think so. I am not Catholic, but I have many friends, asquaintance, and family who are. And the criticims that they have of their own church make my comments look very kind, indeed, by comparision.

  • justillthennow

    Hello DITLD, “I think the Catholic Church is a I think the Catholic Church is a freak show, virulently homophobic, seeking the destruction of gay people, and of their families, yet giving refuge to closetted and repressed gay priests, and sheltering a gay Pope, who pretends to be straight, even as he seeks to suppress the emergence of gay people into modern society.How can any sane person make any sense of this?Posted by: DanielintheLionsDenand of their families, yet giving refuge to closetted and repressed gay priests, and sheltering a gay Pope, who pretends to be straight, even as he seeks to suppress the emergence of gay people into modern society.How can any sane person make any sense of this?”Come now, Daniel with the Lions, Be lionesse in your worldview. This is the natural process for humans, and most of them are sane Yes? light and dark sides. we either recognize we are love and hate, light and dark, conscious and unconscious, or we stay (usually, ’tis the way of it! for shame!), unconscious. Seems to be the case. Hey, perhaps once BOTH sides, (sorry that I do still lack the knowledge and subtlety of italics over caps), practice compassionate cooperative coexistence in a state of forgiving allowance, then true reconcilliation can begin.Here is a thought. If the Jungian concept of shadow is valid, and the Buddhist perspective of soulular evolution aiming at God realization/enlightenment, would it not then make sense that the process of evolving consciously on an individual level would also apply to the collective level as well.Maybe, then, the homophobic and violent anti gay homosexual part of the clergy are just playing the part of darkside denier, while the out of the closetand embracing gay is the ‘light side’. Maybe, once you come to peace with the church as ” freak show, virulently homophobic, seeking the destruction of gay people” you will see it as yourself, and evolution will occur…

  • ThomasBaum

    cprferryYou wrote, “However, they do not and can not validly consecrate hosts.”Why?If there is no “difference” between Jew and Gentile, male and female and so on and so forth in the Eyes of God, why do we differentiate in some areas and yet not in other areas?It is a church rule, apparently handed down thru tradition and maybe not even from the oldest of traditions.Celibacy in the priesthood is just a church rule, is it not? Peter was married and as far as I know, we do not know the marital status of the other original Apostles but definitely many of the original disciples were both married and unmarried men and married and unmarried women.Do you realize that God the Father is not a Male? For that matter neither is the Holy Spirit a Male.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • cprferry

    Rabbi Baum,Note that we only know God is Father and Jesus is Son by Jesus’ gender and how Jesus addresses himself and the Father. Jesus can be classified as any number of things (Jew, Nazarene, etc.), but he routinely acts as more than Jew and Nazarene.

  • cprferry

    “Women were leaders of house churches; there is ample evidence to support this. Therefore, as head of the house church, THEY were probably the eucharistic celebrants…at least until redefinition and men took overThis happens in the 21st century as well. In areas where priests are persecuted or unable to reach regularly, nuns lead the parish, administer to the community, and serve as celebrants of Mass. However, they do not and can not validly consecrate hosts.

  • cprferry

    God the Father (and the Holy Spirit) is spirit and spirit has no body as the scriptures tell us. Many Protestant groups attempt to attribute to God the Father a specific gender. That is not the teaching of the Catholic faith.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    cprferryYour metaphor demonstrates the sexual confusion of Catholic theology. Repression and prudishness is unhealthy, something we now know. It results in these kind of weird sexual fantasies, and in a horrible persecution of ones fellow man for trivial and silly reasons. After spinning such a freakishly weird metaphor as a justification for the exclusion of women, how then do you dare support the Catholic church’s wicked and mean spirited interdiction of gay people as “intrinsically disordered?”There is no end to the twistedness of this so-called “Christian” Catholicism.

  • arminius3142

    Hello, Thomas Baum,Once again, you get to the truth of Christianity. Thank you, and God bless.

  • ThomasBaum

    cprferryYou wrote, “Note that we only know God is Father and Jesus is Son by Jesus’ gender and how Jesus addresses himself and the Father.”Jesus also said, “I and the Father are One” and “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.I have been One with the Father but I and the Father are not One in that God the Father came into my heart but I am not God whereas when Jesus said what He did, He was pointing out to us that He Is God.It also speaks of God in the bible as a Mother Hen taking care of Her flock under the protection of Her Wings so for us to put a gender on God the Father is not in keeping with what Jesus was pointing out to us that God the Father is the Father of us all is a figurative not a genderative way.Jesus was neither the Son of God nor the Son of Man until Mary said YES and then He became both simultaneously before that Jesus was the Second Person of the Trinity for lack of a better way of putting it.Jesus became a Child of God and a Child of Man, do you think that a woman is less a Child of God than a man?Some of us may, but God doesn’t.You then wrote, ” but it is impossible for them to be the bridegroom of the Church and they can certainly not serve in persona Christi and say the Eucharistic Prayer faithfully.”Are you saying that we are all suppose to become female?When Jesus said, “Come follow Me”, He did not say you males take up your cross and you females walk behind them, did He?Being a “Christian” is not a male thing, it is a “Human” thing.We, both male and female, are called to “conceive” Jesus in us like Mary did when she said Yes but not in the physical way that Mary did.Isn’t this what Jesus was referring to when He said, “Take My yoke upon you …”?By the way, I am not a Rabbi, just a messenger.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    cprferryYou wrote, “To be slightly graphic for a moment, yes, in our relationship with the Lord, we become like women and allow Christ to penetrate our hearts and bodies. Similarly, as tradition held, we invite Christ, our husband, to live and dwell with us and our family.”Actually, we are to become “Christ”, I did not say Jesus, but Christ.Christ is a title, The Anointed One, it is not Jesus’s last name.Since we are to become “ONE” with Christ then the differentiation between male and female might mean something in some people’s eyes but in the Eyes of God, each and every one of us is a “Beloved Child” of God.If a “Christian” is to be “One” with Jesus, by what appears to be your “line of reasoning”, does this mean that a person’s maleness or femaleness overshadows their “Oneness” with Jesus and makes some, by virtue of gender, incapable of being as much of a “Christian” as a male?A simple question: Is being a “human being” more of a defining part of who you are rather than if you are a male or female?Something to think about:Before God became One of us, God looked down on us, so to speak. After God became One of us, God looked right at us.After God-Incarnate Ascended, we still find ways to look down on our fellow human beings.Do you think that God was trying to tell us something?By the way, when I said “God looked down on us”, I used it a a figure of speech, not even remotely the way we, humans, look down on others.God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable. The “Good News” is Good News for ALL, not ‘good enought news’ for some.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    arminius3142 Hi Arminius, good to hear from you, hope you’re doing fine.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

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So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.