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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Catholic, Schmatholic

The homily given by the priest this morning at...well, let's call it Old Ivy Catholic Church in upper Manhattan...was on the Gospel reading from Mark 8:27-35 (links are to the King James Version--still my favorite). The priest pointed out the similarity of this passage to that in Matthew 16:13-25 save for the lack of the well known words of Peter's investiture: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." He then offered some explanations by New Testament scholars why this is not found in Mark's Gospel, none of them being the least bit persuasive.

I wasn't bothered by that, I long ago came to expect idiocies from New Testament scholars; so many of whom not beliveing in God and whose sole aim is proving Jesus didn't (and doesn't) exist. What was bothersome however was the priest instructing us while the Catholic Church continually uses that passage from Matthew to proclaim her dominion over all other branches of Christianity, it is wrong to interpret it that way; that our Lord was more concerned with Christianity than the Catholic Church. Well then, if that is the case I guess the two years of prayers, agonized arguments with myself, consultations with friends and priests, the eight months of catechism and the eventual conclusion reached that Holy Church is indeed the one true Church and the way to salvation was an utter waste of time; I might as well have stayed with the Episcopalians.

I was tempted after mass to ask the priest if he really meant what he said, did that mean people like me who converted to Catholicism did so only for the magnificent post-Vatican II liturgy and music? Happily, I restrained myself. He's a nice enough fellow otherwise, getting on in years and will retire soon enough I suppose, although it is tempting also to suppose not soon enough.

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