Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"Failure of Protestantism", Part II

"Failure of Protestantism" is perhaps too harsh a title (sorry, Oblate-Man!), but I'll keep it with the quote marks for the sake of continuity.

Maybe "Insufficiencies of Protestantism" is better.

This protestant says it much better much better than I do.

I thought the streams/river analogy quite good, as well as the short summary of anti-Catholic propaganda at the beginning (most of which was taught to me in either Protestant church or sunday school).

I have to say I got interested in Catholicism at the age of eight or nine. We used to run into the occasional nun or priest in full garb at the grocery store. I remember thinking/feeling even at that age "that's the sort of stuff religious leaders ought to wear" and then wondering why my pastor wore a business suit.

I read today that Pope Benedict thinks every priest should wear a soutane (cassock). Here, here.

You might think "it's a stupid external, like the candles, chants, statues, etc."

Let me tell you, when you grow up in a church made from white cinderblock (I'm not kidding), with no decorations (I'm not kidding), and a preacher in a business suit ... for years! ... those little externals suddenly seem really important.

One more point. This is not to beat up on Protestants, but where is all the Protestant art? I read (I think) that Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans felt that all novels/plays were wicked because they were, um, lies -- because they didn't actually happen! Duh.

Orthodoxy is apophatic in prayer, kataphatic in liturgy. Catholicism tends to be kataphatic in both.

But Protestantism is apophatic in both. The negation is horrible. Sitting in that white cinderblock prison cell all those hours was like having the Eye of Sauron looking at me.


Blogger Oblate-Man said...

First of all, let me say that Mr. Spencer's comments about Catholicism was absolutely wonderful. It is the essay I have been wanting to write, but have not had the skill to do.

Second, as I've said before, the Reformation ended in us throwing at least part of the baby out with the bathwater (bad analogy). Certainly one of those things we should not have thrown out was art. The Orthodox (and Catholic) concept that art acts as a gateway for our senses into communion with God is rock-solid, and those Protestant churches (usually non-denominational) that are re-discovering art in church are finally re-claiming part of their heritage.

Still, it is not the reason to be or not to be a Catholic. I understand your feelings, Xofezura, at attending a church absolutely devoid of any visual stimulation. But Jesus told the Samaritan woman that one day we will worship neither in Jersualem nor on the mountain, but in spirit. Ultimately, both the ornate cathedral and the plain white-washed church (which can have its own beauty) are imperfect houses for our Lord. Fortunately, he doesn't have much architectural taste (or taste in humans), for he makes Himself present in both.

5:50 AM  
Blogger xofezura said...

You're exactly right, oblate-man--and your point is well taken.

My little rant is over. Time to get back on topic.

8:22 AM  
Blogger atgnatus said...

Hear, hear oblate-man! "Worship...in spirt"

Isn't that the goal of this blog?

10:03 AM  
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