Thursday, July 19, 2007

What a Shame

I know I had been out of touch for a couple of weeks but didn't realize how much I had really missed while we were down in Florida. Yesterday I received what we call the "Mid-Week Bulletin" from my home church in Ohio. They have a new pastor there as of July 1 and this is his second newsletter since he began his appointment. Usually I use these newsletters to determine what kind of theology the pastor has...sometimes I have agreed with the pastor serving my home church and sometimes I haven't.

It was a breath of fresh air to read this week's letter from the Pastor as I found his comments both interesting and true. This week's topic looked at the recent declaration of the Pope that other Christians are either defective or not true churches. He continued that Roman Catholicism is the only true religion.

After all of the work that has been done to create Christian unity, this statement comes out. It's hard to think of unity when a leader of a whole religious group makes a statement like this. And it's so sad.

The community I grew up in is 75% Roman Catholic...needless to say I had and still have many friends that are Catholic. One of my dearest friends and I have had great faith fact she's one of a small group of people that I really trust to keep me focused upon the important things. When I was in seminary we had a partnership with he Catholic seminary and the Lutheran seminary. We were all required to take a class at another seminary in order to truly experience an ecumenical education. What will that look like now?

I remember as a child my friend Mary could never attend anything at my church. We had neat youth group trips...awesome youth activities and she could not ever come with me. In fact the only time she stepped foot in my church was the day of my wedding. I didn't understand why she was never allowed to come when I was a child. We were friends who both believed in God and in Jesus as our savior...why couldn't we worship together from time to time?

All I can say is what a shame.