Sunday, March 18, 2007

Funny picture time...



"Hold still so I can get ya!"

Or:

"A little more of the back, perhaps, Holy Father?"

2 Comments:

At Sunday, March 18, 2007 6:42:00 am , Blogger 318@NICE said...

Schutz,
Do you believe that Lutherans have the sacrament of the Eucharist? Do you believe their pastors are truly ordained and do have the power to forgive sins?
I know that they don't have apostolic succession in them, but is that important?
And for the SSPX, do they have the above things?

Please let me know.
Thanks,
Dave

 
At Sunday, March 18, 2007 9:27:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

No, I do not believe that the Lutherans have the valid Sacrament of the Eucharist. None of them. Not even the "episcopal" ones--because all Lutheran orders are invalid because of the loss of apostolic succesion. As the Holy Father reiterated in Sacramentum Caritatis, "The Church teaches that priestly ordination is the indispensable condition for the valid celebration of the Eucharist." Nor do they have the authority to absolve in the name of the Church, for the same reason. I respect that Lutherans will dispute this; I also respect that what takes place in both Lutheran Eucharists and Lutheran Absolutions is "not nothing". Those who take part in such celebrations often have at least the intention of doing what the Church does, and this establishes a certain "by faith" connection with the fullness of the reality which belongs to the Catholic Church.

The SSPX are more like the Orthodox than the Protestants in this regard. They have valid orders (however, note that even Arch. Lev. was the only ordinator at the ordination of his bishops--when canonically there should have been at least three) and therefore valid sacraments. That does not, however, mean that they have the fullness of the Church. For it is required for the full reality of every Eucharist that it be celebrated in communion with the bishop of Rome (he is mentioned in every Eucharistic prayer). Sadly this fullness is lacking in the SSPX because they are in formal schism from the Catholic Church.

Despite all this, do you know that according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church could have furnished me with everything I needed for salvation? Namely, baptism and the word of God in which I was called to place my faith. I ceased to be a Lutheran because I was not satisfied to have only "the bare minimum necesssary"--I wanted the fullness that Christ had given his Church. Call me greedy, I wanted it all! There is also that bit in the Second Vatican Council (Lumen Gentium, I think) which says that it is the duty of every person to seek the Truth, and, once they have apprehended it, to embrace it fully in their lives. Not to do so would mean forfeiting eternal salvation. Once I had set out to seek the Catholic Church, I could not be satisfied with the "also ran's", even if they had what it took to "get me saved". And I realised that, of all the myriad definitions of what it meant to be "catholic" that one comes across these days, only one cuts it: "to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome." Everything else may look Catholic, smell Catholic, taste Catholic (even MORE Catholic than the real thing), but 'tain't Catholic at all. It is a chimera, a pretense, a mask. The reality is only to be found in the "sole Church of Christ", that "society" which "subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him." (CCC p.816). In this faith I am committed to live and to die.

I will not disuade you from your decision to be confirmed in the SSPX. You will thereby be drawing closer to the objective reality of the Catholic Church. But I caution you against thinking that this step will mean the end of the journey. As Papa Ratzinger once said (when he was plain ol' Cardinal Ratzinger) "Unity has a name: Peter; and a See: Rome."

 

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