Reactions to the Pope's letter?????

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Reactions to the Pope's letter?????
5
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 7:22am
I was really surprised by some of the reactions I've seen to the Pope's comments on communion.

Some people said that he shouldn't have written that because it will make Protestant's less likely to reunite with the Church - the Lutherans in particular.

Others said that he shouldn't write things like that, because it will drive some Catholics away from the Church, or at least away from Mass.

Others said (and this was the strangest) that this was just another example of the Pope, and the Church hierarchy in general, trying to keep the people under his thumb. (And this after the person had just said that it will drive people away. Huh?)

Other comments were more specific. "If they don't consider me really married because I got remarried by a JP, then how can they say I shouldn't take Communion? Or, I confess before Mass, so I can receive.

It's the Pope's job to teach us, to remind us, when he sees abuses creeping in. And why would knowing what the rule on Communion is turn someone away from the Church? Like those Lutheran Church who are working on full Communion with the CC don't know what the rule is already?

What kinds of reactions have you heard? Do you have a problem with the letter?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 8:31am


I loved it. It was time to defend the "Life of the Chruch". The Mass has been striped of it's sacrificial nature in many places and is no longer associated with the chucifixion. Ambiguity and depreciation of the Eucharist has happened in the name of ecumenism, false ecumenism that is. Anyone who has read the Catholic, Lutheran dialogues that were published over the last 15 or so years understands that the Lutheran community clearly knows the Catholic view of the Eucharist. Now will the Bishops and Pastors have the guts to stand behind this teaching of the Holy Father?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 10:43am
I haven't read the letter -- just a brief article about it -- but it sounds pretty straightforward and expected to me.

It sounds as if he was simply reiterating teaching -- not introducing anything new. So are people angry that he dare to remind them of the rules of the faith? (I can hear it now: Who does he think he is? The POPE or something?)

Regarding Protestants -- in my experience, the ones who understand the Church's teaching and disagree with it don't want to take communion. It is the ones who think it is just like theirs that feel miffed. I don't think it will harm reunification -- it isn't like that is just around the corner, anyway.

Understanding each other better shouldn't harm ecumenism either. I read that some say that his statement that we shouldn't take communion in other churches may harm interfaith services -- but I don't see why I couldn't go and just not take the bread and grape juice/wine. I have a question about that though -- why is that wrong? If it isn't the Eucharist, and is just a commemoration of the Last Supper or symbolic of a shared meal, what is the problem? (Assuming I don't use it as a substitute for the Eucharist?)

If the teaching itself wasn't enough to drive people away from the Mass, I don't see how reiterating the teaching will. My guess is that those who want to go to communion will just keep going.

I must say, I envy you. You seem to have a group of people willing to debate this and other issues. That must be fun. (Or perhaps I've got it wrong and you're just the sole Catholic around there who has to take the heat for the whole faith!)

Polly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 12:46pm
Well, from where I sit, it doesn't change anything. Of course I do live in a very conservative diocese and nothing in the letter is a new teaching to me. I do think it was important for this letter to be written. It should have been written ten years ago. It should be published every year.

Even before I started coming to the boards, I knew that there were significant differences in the various Christian beliefs. I do see how people can say that it will work against bringing the faiths together. But I also see where a point has to be made that in bringing the various groups together, we do not do so by watering down our own rich heritage (for lack of a better word right now). What good does it do us if we lose fundamental teachings of the Catholic faith? We may as well just all convert to the other Christian churchs IMO.

Kim

Kim 

Mom to Brad, Ma

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 5:55pm
Hi Polly,

Yeah, it is good to have a group of people who can talk without fighting. :-)

Some are Catholics, but a lot are Protestants, too. Some don't go to any church right now.

I have the same question you do. If we take their communion as what it is, a symbol, and don't think it is the real deal, why is it wrong? Maybe it comes from St Paul, about not participating in anything that would give the wrong impression - that they might think we think our Communion is the same as theirs, a symbol? A wild guess. :-)

Joan

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 6:02pm
I can't understand why people are being critical of a pope doing his job. It makes no sense to me.

ITA, if you change the church, it becomes only another man-made, protestant church. If PJP II does what some Protestants would love him to do - change Church teachings -

would those who follow him be known as John-Paulists? John-Paulism.

He's not teaching anything new. He's not teaching his own opinion. He's teaching the truth of Communion. I think too many people don't know that.

Joan