Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

White Memorial Chapel, Salt Lake City

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Denver Colorado

The purpose of this blog is really to depict churches, not to comment on any one religion or church.   However, whenever you post photographs of varying churches, you are going to sooner or later end up getting into some sort of comment or controversy.

This is a photograph I took quite awhile back, 2012 in fact, and I never completed the post.  The reason is that I don't like to have a hand in creating confusion.  Whenever I post a photograph I always try to look the church up before I post the photo.  In doing that, I found St. Paul's entry to be very confusion at that time, 2012. 

What I found was that the church was Lutheran, and very obviously in the "liberal" Lutheran camp, but it offered a service that mirrored Catholic services.  It was pretty clearly angling for disaffected Catholics who had some reason that they were separating themselves from the Church but who missed what the Mass looked like.  That made me a bit queasy, well more than a bit queasy.

In finding this old photograph, I looked them back up and its more confusing than ever.  They have a Catholic Priest who is offering a Mass on Saturday nights while the Lutheran service is on Sunday.  The website claims that the community at the Church is Catholic and Lutheran and the website suggests, whether it means to or not, that there's no prohibition to the two faiths commingling without restriction.

Well, there certainly is, and neither the Lutheran or the Catholic Church take that position.

Rather, what the site cites to is a declaration by Pope Benedict some years ago that one of Martin Luther's statements was not inconsistent with Catholic belief, if properly understood.  

This gets into an entire really long area of discussion which I'm not going to go down. Rather, however, I'm noting this as this is a pretty old church, but frankly it fits into a certain "liberal" Christian set of beliefs that does not define either faith in the main.  And this stands to be deceptive, particularly for people who are travelers.  If a Church stands in opposition to the main body of its faith, or if it is on the fringe of it, it ought to just flat out state that.  After all, even the two very close "lungs" of the Apostolic Churches, the Catholics and the Orthodox, do not seek to hide their differences from each other.  The "Anglican Catholis", who use the Catholic name as part of their identify, are very blunt on their websites and statements that they are not in union with Rome and do not purport to be Roman Catholic Churches. 

I'm not saying that deception is intentionally being engaged in here, and I'm not commenting on the licitly of the Masses (about which I know nothing), but I am saying that when people take a view that's out of the mainstream on things, they'd do well to note that, least they create problems for others.  In matters of religion, for the Faithful, this is not a small matter.

I'm going to go ahead and post the photo of this church here.  But in doing so, I'm frankly going to note that there's another Catholic Church that's clearly in the Catholic mainstream, right downtown, just a couple of blocks away.  That church, Holy Ghost, is unquestionably Catholic and,  like this Lutheran Church, it also has a very well known social mission, that being to the poor.  I don't know where the nearest Lutheran church is, but I'd note it if I did.