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By Mirko Testa

ROME, DEC. 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity presided over a Methodist celebration -- an event he said would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

Cardinal Walter Kasper led an anniversary celebration Dec. 3, marking the birth of Charles Wesley (1707-1788), one of the initiators of the Methodist congregation. The ecumenical event was organized by the World Methodist Council and held at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls....... "

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I think it is time that Kasper was put out to pasture. He's never been a bastion of Catholic orthodoxy, but he seems to be getting further and further from anything that even resembles the orthodox practice of the Catholic faith.

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Dear Carole,

Someone should also let Catholic book publishers know they should stop including Charles Wesley's hymns in their collections.

John and Charles Wesley, although Anglicans who founded Methodism, prayed one to three hours morning and night, prayed at the Apostolic Hours of nine, noon and three during the day, fasted a great deal to give money to the poor (and they gave thousands of dollars to charity throughout their lives), attended their church's services and Eucharists regularly, and dedicated their lives to sharing the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ with others.

I would hate to think that that kind of Christian example doesn't come close to resembling "the orthodox practice of the Catholic Faith."

Alex

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I don't disagree with you Alex. Wesley, Luther (A Mighty Fortress is Our God), Haugen, Haas ... and a bunch of other hymns as well. It is shameful to have clearly Protestant hymns (with Protestant theology included) used in the Catholic Mass.


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I would hate to think that that kind of Christian example doesn't come close to resembling "the orthodox practice of the Catholic Faith."

Now now Alex, surely it's more important to BE Catholic than Christian! wink

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Sometimes there is method in madness - is there also madness in Methodism?

Fr. Serge

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear Carole,

Someone should also let Catholic book publishers know they should stop including Charles Wesley's hymns in their collections.

John and Charles Wesley, although Anglicans who founded Methodism, prayed one to three hours morning and night, prayed at the Apostolic Hours of nine, noon and three during the day, fasted a great deal to give money to the poor (and they gave thousands of dollars to charity throughout their lives), attended their church's services and Eucharists regularly, and dedicated their lives to sharing the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ with others.

I would hate to think that that kind of Christian example doesn't come close to resembling "the orthodox practice of the Catholic Faith."

Alex

Methodist roots are in my family's English ancestry (on my father's side). Like the great theologian Father Louis Bouyer, I am actually quite sympathtic to its founders. I also believe that SVS has done a series of books regarding much of the spiritual alignment of Methodism with Orthodox spirituality.

Peace,

Gordo

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
John and Charles Wesley, although Anglicans who founded Methodism, prayed one to three hours morning and night, prayed at the Apostolic Hours of nine, noon and three during the day, fasted a great deal to give money to the poor (and they gave thousands of dollars to charity throughout their lives), attended their church's services and Eucharists regularly, and dedicated their lives to sharing the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ with others.

I would hate to think that that kind of Christian example doesn't come close to resembling "the orthodox practice of the Catholic Faith."

Alex

This was added to Alex's post after I replied. Originally his post was only discussing the use of Protestant hymns.

While I agree that the example you cited about personal praxis is, indeed, admirable. The fact remains that Methodist beliefs deny certain necessary dogma and are, as such, a heresy.

There is nothing orthodox in a Catholic Cardinal presiding over a Methodist service or in these vacuous "ecumenical" agreements between the Catholic Church and those who deny Church dogma. You cannot be in "communion with" people who hold beliefs that are diametrically opposed to your own.

For the Cardinal to preside over such an event is indeed far from resembling the orthodox practice of the Catholic faith. It gives the impression that we're all one big happy Church and that we all really believe the same thing, when the truth is that we do not.

It would be as if an Orthodox Bishop were to preside at a Catholic Mass, with the implication that we are in "full communion" and that our differences do not exist.

That is the wrong thing to do and in the end hurts ecumenism far more than it helps it.

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Of course it hurts ecumenism, Carole. Kasper is a proponent of a false and insidious sort of ecumenism. I hope he's nearing 75 (and I think he is).

I love the Methodists; I grew up Methodist, my entire family is Methodist. But they are not Catholic, I can promise you.

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The article mentions nothing about inter communion or that the Cardinal presided over a methodist communion service of any sort.

Perhaps the confusion lies in the word "celebration." It's my understanding that the word does not carry Eucharistic connotations for Methodists. It's far more likely in reference to a hand-raising, foot-stomping, hymn-fest.

I highly doubt that the Cardinal would participate in an inter communion service with Protestants...especially in such a high profile setting.

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Actually I have several times known more than one Orthodox Hierarch to preside at a Catholic Mass - without receiving Holy Communion, of course - and it did not seem to do anyone any serious harm. Most of us will have seen, thanks to television, Pope Benedict preside at the Orthodox Divine Liturgy in Constantinople, again without receiving Holy Communion.

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Is it a gesture of respect that highly placed churchmen preside over services they are not in communion with?

Terry

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"hand-raising, foot-stomping, hymn-fest"

Ew. That's more of the Baptists' forte. wink

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I don't disagree with you Alex. Wesley, Luther (A Mighty Fortress is Our God), Haugen, Haas ... and a bunch of other hymns as well. It is shameful to have clearly Protestant hymns (with Protestant theology included) used in the Catholic Mass.

While I agree that there are some hymns that should be kept out (e.g. "A Mighty Fortress is Our God", which was sung while the Lutherans slaughtered Catholic priests and nuns) there are MANY good hymns that are compatible with Catholic theology, including some great ones about the Virgin Mary. If we were to only use hymns written by Catholics we would have the English Roman Catholic "Westminster Hymnal" of the 1920s--a slim book indeed.

Here are two Anglicans hymns that stand out:

(This is a paraphrase of the Anima Christi)

Soul of Jesus, make me whole,
Meek and contrite make my soul;
Thou most stainless Soul divine,
Cleanse this sordid soul of mine,
Hallow this my contrite heart,
Purify my every part;
Soul of Jesus, hallow me,
Miserere Domine.

Save me, body of my Lord,
Save a sinner, vile, abhorred;
Sacred body, wan and worn,
Bruised and mangled, scourged and torn,
Pierc�d hands and feet and side,
Rent, insulted, crucified:
Save me: to the cross I flee,
Miserere Domine.

Blood of Jesus, stream of life,
Sacred stream with blessings rife,
From the broken body shed
On the cross, that altar dread;
Giv�n to be our drink divine,
Fill my heart and make it thine;
Blood of Christ, my succor be,
Miserere Domine.

Holy water, stream that poured
From Thy riven side, O Lord,
Wash Thou me without, within,
Cleanse me from the taint of sin,
Till my soul is clean and white,
Bathed and purified and bright
As a ransomed soul should be,
Miserere Domine.

Jesus, by the wondrous power
Of Thine awful passion hour,
By the unimagined woe
Mortal man may never know;
By the curse upon Thee laid,
By the ransom Thou hast paid,
By Thy passion comfort me,
Miserere Domine.

Jesus, by Thy bitter death,
By Thy last expiring breath,
Give me the eternal life,
Purchased by that mortal strife;
Thou didst suffer death that I
Might not die eternally;
By Thy dying quicken me,
Miserere Domine.

Miserere, let me be
Never parted, Lord, from Thee;
Guard me from my ruthless foe,
Save me from eternal woe;
When the hour of death is near,
And my spirit faints for fear,
Call me with Thy voice of love,
Place me near to Thee above,
With Thine angel host to raise
An undying song of praise,
Miserere Domine.

Here's another one related to Good Friday:

My song is love unknown,
My Savior�s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then �Crucify!� is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and �gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they saved,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.

In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav�n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.



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Dear Carole,

Well, as St Thomas Aquinas taught, "All truth, irrespective of who speaks it, comes from the Holy Spirit."

And one may also consider that Methodists et alia have produced great fruits of holiness and that what it is about them that is "holy" is what they have from the Catholic Church.

The Wesleys had a great deal from Catholicism and John Wesley himself went to the Marian Shrine in Walsingham to ask God to forgive Protestant iconoclasm. On the spot where he preached, there is now a Methodist church.

And one of the really terrific books on the Rosary was written by the Methodist Minister, Neville Ward (Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy).

High Church Lutheranism considers itself to be "Evangelical Catholic."

And more power to all these Catholic movements within Protestantism!

Alex

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