Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Top Rung On God's Ladder

Of course the Roman Catholic Church is number one. You don't need a Pope to state the obvious.

Now the Most Reverend John Neill of the Church of Ireland has his knickers in a knot. He thinks that his religion has "full apostolic succession" but a good Catholic would point out that King Henry (the eighth of that name) interposed his sizable self in the line. The Pope can trace his job all the way back to St. Peter and Jesus Himself, in an unbroken succession. Therefore, it's the Catholics that are the one true faith that was started up two thousand years ago, and the rest of the Christian world is a bunch of posers.

There is dismay in the halls of the Methodist Church in Ireland, and the Presbyterian Church would like it known that it is the Catholic Church, not them, that is in error. There's no error at all, at all. The Catholics have claimed the top of the religious charts and they're number one with a bullet for all times. Upon my rock, and all that, and only Pope Benedict can say with conviction that he's a chip off that same rock.

Where else do the Proties fall short? They lack a sacramental priesthood, they've botched the "substance of the Eucharistic Mystery" by going about things their own way and not following Catholic doctrine, so they've no right to call themselves "'Churches' in the proper sense".

The thing about all this is that it's nothing new. This has been policy all along, back to the first split between the Roman crowd and the crew in Constantinople. As for continuing dialogue between religious beliefs, that hasn't change either. The Catholic Church is more than willing to talk and hash out differences. And their reason for talk hasn't varied either. Come back into the fold, oh prodigal Protestant, and all will be forgiven. See the error of your ways and return to the original church.

It's all about who has the most sheep in the fold, and who is the very best of the Good Shepherds. And no one likes having their ego bruised.

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