Carl made a point in comments on his post The Family, that I think important, when he said.:
I suppose we can all participate in prayer that the Holy Spirit reigns. But then the question for Catholics is whether they obey the conclusions presented by the synod or follow personal conscience which I understand may be inappropriate for Catholics. As Protestant would appreciate comments helping me to me understand this apparent dilemma if indeed one exists. Who is the heretic-the one who accepts or the one dismissing possible distasteful policy of synod?
OK, granted I’m a Lutheran (and in fact, a conservative one, I don’t truck with much novelty). But I’m a member of the ELCA, which is about as liberal as Lutherans get. I’ll admit to shaking my head often in bewilderment and grief at what my bishops say.
But, you know, I don’t very often think they are simply heretics or trying to kill the family. I mostly think they are good men who have perhaps been misled, or perhaps I am (although that’s unlikely) 🙂
And in any case, I can always move to one of the more conservative Lutheran synods, and periodically consider it. One of the advantages of being a Protestant, I suppose.
But so often, my Roman brothers and sisters sound like conspiracy theorists in their treatment of their hierarchy, and yet most of those who claim all these evil things are being done by the hierarchy, are converts to that church, like me in Lutheranism, they saw something in Rome that appealed to their soul. That’s good, one should believe in their church.
For the most part I agree with Rome’s doctrines on the family, and I’m not going to have the arguments again here. We’ve done enough of that. In short, I think they may be wrong on pre-conception contraception, and I think they need to work on how they handle, administratively, divorce/annulment. Otherwise I think they pretty much have it right. I can only wish the ELCA was that good.
I know that in large measure this is driven because they care so very much about the church and its members but, the tone is very unhelpful. I think they would be wise to tone it down several notches and realize that, with very few possible exceptions nobody went into the priesthood/ministry with an overt goal to destroy the family or the Church.
Some, perhaps many, may well be misguided, I think so but, screaming at them is not going to accomplish anything. Sitting down prayerfully and considerately reasoning with them might. Because we all know that when people scream at us, we get angry in our turn, and we are not susceptible to reason or even the still small voice in us, when we are.
i know many of you are thinking that I’m sticking my oar in where it doesn’t belong. That’s not exactly true. Like me, you are Christians, and your Pope is the senior bishop for us all, and we all do (or at least should) pay attention to what he says. In a good many ways, he is still the “Patriarch of the West’ and speaks for (and to) us all.
I understand what is happening in your Church, to a point anyway, and in a sense, you have hoisted yourself on your own petard. It’s very difficult to be always right, on every single day ever since St. Peter first set foot in Rome. Your church hasn’t been, and neither has mine, or any other. The wider church was founded by Christ, but was built, and maintained by men, and men are sinful creatures, whether they are an atheist moocher or the Pope. Hopefully our churches are guided by the Holy Spirit but, that doesn’t come in the heat and tumult of battle, it comes as a still small voice, usually in the night.
So I would urge you to turn it down several decibels, you hurt yourselves (on both sides) by this unseemly conduct. the road you are travelling right now leads nowhere but still another schism, and that’s the one thing Christianity absolutely does not need, there have been far too many, already.