[Oe List ...] The Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic movement, and our common memory

Rod Rippel rodrippel at cox.net
Thu May 3 08:59:47 PDT 2012

Benedict is circling the wagons.  First, the Vatican is hoping the priesthood sexual predator crisis will “just go away,” instead of dealing with it effectively.  The recent Austrian Preachers initiative for attacking the shortage of priests by admitting women, allowing married clergy, etc., drew his outspoken anger.  Orders of nuns are rebuked for their efforts to help the poor and solve social injustice instead of focusing on abortion and contraception issues.  Now Caritas is experiencing new restraints and petty controls.  Vatican II is a dim memory.  The college of Cardinals is ‘stacked’ with ultra conservatives in the Ratzinger image.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pope is preparing an Encyclical to cap his papacy and insure reactionary steps are imbedded in Catholic institutions.

“The Catholic church is an Anvil that has broken many a Hammer.”

Change doesn’t come easy to the RC church.  If you assume a “normal cycle” of change in corporate human affairs as something like: A movemental dynamic precedes institutional formation or change; normal institutions don’t preclude dissent, dissent pushes for renewal; renewal and change meets with resistance; and real change occurs slowly or not at all.  For example, the Reformation took 300 years, Vatican II petered out in 50.  Outside of Revolution institutions don’t change fast.  We were naive to imagine the renewal of the institutional church would take 40 years. 
Rod Rippel

From: David M Dunn 
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 8:24 AM
To: Order Ecumenical Community 
Subject: Re: [Oe List ...] The Roman Catholic Church,the Old Catholic movement, and our common memory

On May 3, 2012, at 8:30 AM, Tracy Longacre wrote:

  Hmm, they sound like the Episcopal Church. Why did they decide to create a new organization?

Many were profoundly wounded by their experience with the R.C. church, but identified just as profoundly with being "Catholic." 

As far as I can discern this means at least:

- related to a continuous thread of symbolic leaders that goes back to the earliest church
- focused on the Eucharist as the central act associated with being the People of God
- grounded in daily living as a sacrament embodying Holy Mystery
- recovering an authentic form of an ancient tradition that got lost in institutionalization

Why create a new organization? The founders of the ECC identified with the Old Catholic Movement that traces its lineage back to the anti-papal movement in the Catholic church in Europe at the time of Vatican I in the late 19th century. None of the existing churches feels fresh, open, dynamic, and real. 

I'll have a richer train of thought before the year's out.

To Herman's comment: 
Very interesting about independent Catholic churches. Now tell us about:

• new monasticism
• emergent churches
• co-located congregations

Others will know more than I do about all three of these, but…

The new monasticism is a handle for a variety of intentional communities of faith involved in community service, many small, often urban, some with storefronts, some living in community. As far as I've read, emergent churches are exploring new language, new ways of engaging the world, maybe new theologies. (I don't know if many are wrestling as deeply as we have with grounding, transparency, and radical collegiality with other faith traditions.) The two co-located congregations I know about are Light of Christ Ecumenical Catholic Community and Bethany Lutheran Church in Longmont, Colorado. They share a building, worship space, various liturgies and ministries.


David Dunn
740 S Alton Way 9B
Denver, CO 80247
dmdunn1 at gmail.com

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