No Reason to Resign

A Roman Catholic official in Colorado, Peter Howard, resigned, apparently because he said that Catholics should not attend Protestant services. I don’t know about mere attendance, but his reasoning is right on:

Such “active participation” in a Protestant liturgical service, therefore, acts contrary to our faith which professes fundamentally different beliefs in critical ecclesiological and theological areas.

The only problem is with the phrase “Protestant liturgical service”; how many Protestant services could be described accurately with those words?

At least he takes the ecclesiological and theological differences seriously. It is amazing that we live in an age where someone is apparently forced to resign because of such clear-headed theological statements. I have no problem saying that “active participation” in non-Lutheran services is wrong.

How can real unity be achieved unless we are ready to acknowledge real, concrete, and important differences in doctrine and practice?



2 thoughts on “No Reason to Resign

  1. Spoken like a true Lutheran conservative. I always marveled that the Wisonsin Synod pastor could gulf with me but not pray with me. We loved the same Christ, subscribed to the same Lutheran confessions but he saw himself as being more right and a better Lutheran than I. Well hide away till Jesus comes but then he was Jewish and not Lutheran so you probably shouldn’t worship with Him either.

  2. I think you missed the point. I’m focusing on the words “active participation.” I have no problem praying with other Christians, nor is there anything inherently wrong with attending services of other Christians (except the heterodoxy, of course). I’ve been to the Easter Vigil Mass at the Cathedral Basilica here in St. Louis. I don’t think people even consider those issues, though.

    It’s not about being “more” Lutheran or “less.” (Although I daresay Catholics are “less” Lutheran than I–or, if you like the positive way of putting things, “more” Roman Catholic.) Do Christians today have any qualms about communing with other Christians who hold OPPOSITE, mutually exclusive confessions about the Supper? Most do not. That is the problem. And the priest should not have been forced to resign for sticking to his confession.


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