Category Archive 'Theology'

14 Oct 2014

Pastoral Revolution: Vatican Proposes Dramatic Shift In Attitude Towards Fallen Angels, the Damned

, , , ,

Has the Catholic Church room for everyone?

Only slightly modified from HuffPo quotation of Reuters’ story:

In a dramatic shift in tone, a Vatican document said on Monday that fallen angels had “gifts and qualities to offer” and asked if Catholicism could accept demons and recognize positive aspects of spirits damned to Hell throughout Eternity.

The document, prepared after a week of discussions at an assembly of 200 bishops, said the Church should challenge itself to find “a fraternal space” for fallen angels without compromising Catholic doctrine on theology and the afterlife.

While the text did not signal any change in the Church’s condemnation of rebellion in Heaven or its opposition to the overthrow of God, it used language that was less judgmental and more compassionate than past Vatican statements under previous popes.

The document will be the basis for discussion for the second and final week of the assembly, known as a synod, which was called by Pope Francis and focuses on the theme of the angelic.

It will also serve for further reflection among Catholics around the world ahead of another, definitive synod next year.

“Fallen angels have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these spirits, guaranteeing to them a further space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home,” said the document, known by its Latin name “relatio”.

“Are our communities capable of proving that, accepting and valuing their political orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on theology and the afterlife?” it asked.

John Thavis, Vatican expert and author of the bestselling 2013 book “The Vatican Diaries”, called the document “an earthquake” in the Church’s attitude towards damned spirits.

“The document clearly reflects Pope Francis’ desire to adopt a more merciful pastoral approach on theology and the afterlife,” he said.

A number of participants at the closed-door synod have said the Church should tone down its condemnatory language when referring to fallen angels and avoid phrases such as “devils” and “tempters” when speaking of former angels.

27 Jul 2012

Episcopalians Decide That God Makes Mistakes

, , ,

Bookworm has news of a theological breakthrough by the hierarchy of the Episcopal Church in America.

On July 9, 2012, the Episcopalian Church officially banned discrimination against transsexuals. …

What makes the decision to do so funny is that, as one of those who opposed the proposal pointed out, those advancing this successful viewpoint about gender identity issues were explicitly arguing that God erred:

The Rev. Canon James Lewis, Deputy from South Carolina, said that while “gender identity and expression” may have meaning for the proposers, “to be honest I would be hard pressed to explain the boundary between identity and expression.”

    “No explanation of these terms or a theological explanation has been offered,” he said, adding that the arguments put forward by supporters were incoherent and contradictory. Canon Lewis said that the arguments put forward for the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of the church was that as God had made them that way, and that God did not make mistakes, so the church should not exclude them.

    However, the argument put forward by the supporters of the transgendered resolution said in effect that God had made a mistake when he made transgendered people, who by seeking surgery or other means to change their gender were correcting God’s error.

It seems to me that an official resolution that is predicated on God messing up sort of negates the whole God thing. It’s one thing to revisit what He’s said and reinterpret it in different ways (making the Bible the religious equivalent of a Living Constitution), but doesn’t it take things to a whole new level to go out to ones congregants and say that God is as fallible as anybody else, and that it’s up to the Church to take proactive steps to shield individuals from the consequences of God’s errors?

What the Episcopal Church obviously has done is simply correct the old medieval notions of Ontological hierarchy, preeminence, and omniscience.

In the bad old days, people believed that God was perfect, the supreme ruler of the universe, and omniscient. We now know that the elite community of fashion possesses superior insight and moral understanding and consequently outranks God.

Go and make trouble about any of this, and they’ll take your historic church and sell it to the Muslims for a mosque.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'Theology' Category.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark