Monday, October 1, 2012

Playing Church

By Father Erik Richtsteig

OK, here is the deal. About one mile south of my church of St. James the Just, there is a little white church. I am told that it was a Southern Baptist church at one time. When I came to Ogden nine years ago, it was Glory to God Community Church. I found out later that it was a Metropolitan Community Church. Yup, the gay denomination. Not just gay friendly, but of, by, and for gays. Even the World Council of Churches won’t let them in as even that liberal organization doesn’t think that sexual orientation should be the foundation of a denomination. Later I heard that the pastor was an ex-Catholic and failed Franciscan seminarian. Well, I had heard more than I wish I had about that happening. All of a sudden a few years ago, the sign was changed and it had morphed into Glory to God American Catholic Church. That denomination evidently went under and now they have joined a North American Old Catholic Church out of the North East (headed by an ‘archbishop’ who received his formation via mail) and the pastor has been consecrated a bishop.

All along, they have received glowing coverage in the local media. They are open. They are inclusive. They don’t turn people away like the ‘other’ Catholic church. Their clergy has ‘life experience’. Etc, etc, ad nauseum. They are insistent that they are Catholic, just not papal Catholic. Last Christmas, they even had a sign out front, “Not your mamma’s Catholic church.” (Unintentionally true--the Blessed Mother has nothing to do with it.)

No doubt you can tell that it bothers me. I don’t like heresy and schism. Not by a long-shot. And when that heresy and schism masquerades as Catholicism, my blood pressure redlines. It is false advertising. It is like Mormonism claiming to be theologically Christian. Or Scientology claiming to be a religion. Or Wicca claiming to be the survival of pre-Christian paganism. It just isn’t true... (continued)

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