Friday, September 14, 2012

THE FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS; ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, PRAY FOR US

9/14/12




This morning I went to Mass, as I try to do a few times during the week, unaware that it was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The deacon, a different deacon from the one who preached the Assumption homily I found so egregious (See my 8/15/12 post THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION: MARY, THE MOTHER OF OUR LORD, PRAY FOR US) was going along pretty well, commenting on, among other things, the miracle that followed the discovery of the Cross of Christ and the popularity of the cross in today’s culture when he let out his whopper:



The presence of the Crucifix, the cross with the corpus, or body of Christ, is a sign that the church in which it is located is a Christian church.” (Emphasis mine)



Huh?



If the deacon had used the term “Catholic” instead of “Christian,” I would have gone along with it. But most Protestant congregations do not use or display the Crucifix; they stick with simple, unadorned crosses, sans the body of our Lord. So one supposes that, in the estimation of this homilist, those churches that display only the cross are not Christians; it is only we Catholics, who display the Crucifix, who are Christians.



One might think that I am making too much of this, that this was a poor but unintentional of words. Given the attitude displayed in the Assumption homily on which I commented (Same parish, different deacon.), in which Mary, the very mother of our Lord, was used as a cudgel to beat up on non-Catholic Christian denominations, this was not an oversight at all. As one who attends Mass a lot, it is becoming clear that this attitude is permeating not only this particular parish or the Diocese in which it is located, but most of today’s Catholic Church.



Throughout the entire post Vatican II portion of my life, the Church has spoken of its devotion to ecumenism, or Christian unity. For many of those years, it was apparent that what the Church had in mind was the Protestants’ finally admitting they were wrong all along, accepting all aspects of Catholic doctrine, submitting to the rules (of course), and then maybe, just maybe, being granted re-admittance to the one true Church. But then, for a few years there, it looked as if the Church were becoming more open to genuine reconciliation of Christian congregations, with each of us considering others’ beliefs in the context of what gets us closer to Christ and the way He wants us to live rather than what complies with the traditions and doctrines of men.



Sadly, though, a “new” attitude seems to be ascending in the Church toward ecumenism that is really the old attitude. It might best be described by using the very secular expression “My way or the highway.”





For more of my thoughts on politics and the ironies that permeate life, along with a healthy dose of what some call cynicism but I call realism, see my other posts on The Insightful Pontificator.



For more of my thoughts on political issues, see Mighty Insights at Rant Political..



For some of my thoughts on financial issues, see Mighty Insights at Rant Finance.






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