Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Converts, Catholics, and Coleman

Nick Coleman wants you at Catholic mass. I am not sure that he wants you to convert to Catholicism, just so long as you show up.

Let me explain. In his latest Minneapolis Star Tribune column, Coleman laments that fact that Lutherans and Catholics have different beliefs (a pesky little 500 year-old problem). Specifically, he cites the generous offer of a Lutheran church in St. Peter, Minn. to share space with the local Cathoic parish after the latter lost its church building to a tornado. Together they celebrated mass, including communion, under the extraordinary circumstances. The problem was that they continued the practice of joint services every Easter for years, even after the church was rebuilt. The higher ups in the Catholic church stopped the practice. Nick wanted them to keep up the hybrid church service.

SwanBlog readers will recall that Nick Coleman expressed delight on seeing a Muslim (not just a person of Arab or Middle Eastern descent, but a practicing Muslim) at Christmas Eve mass in 2004. It is great to find common ground and to pursue ecumenical goals, but one wonders whether Coleman thinks that there are any differences between individual religious denominations that are worth preserving.

UPDATE: I fixed the second paragraph to reflect that it was the Catholic church that was hit by the tornado.



Blogger Mahan said...

So, Nick Coleman now believes he has the power to override the hierarchy of the Catholic Church? Frankly, these services were extraordinary in the literal meaning of the term, and the higher-ups were right to stop them. I hate to burst Coleman's bubble, but Protestantism and Catholicism have very significant theological differences that a few years of joint services are not about to solve, no matter what the wishes of a newspaper writer may be.

As for having a Muslim at Mass, if a follwer of Allah wishes to come to see how I follow Christ onthe occasion of His birth (or, more importantly, death and Resurrection), I have no problem with that, but I doubt Coleman honestly thinks the Muslim is there for enlightment on Christianity as a faith.

May 02, 2007 12:52 PM  

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