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Pews of religions which compromise their theology are quickly emptying

One of the most rewarding disclosures when the liberal press venture forth into the mysterious world of religion is the astounding ignorance of both its history and its current condition that they so unerringly place on display.

They deliver severe admonitions to bishops and clergy, warning of the calamitous consequences their church will suffer if it does not liberalize its ecclesiology, compromise its theology and sodomize its morality.

Yet the very churches that have done all these recommended things are precisely those suffering such a disastrous exodus of their members that their church’s very existence is now in question.

Then again they lecture the Catholic hierarchy on the inherent bigotry and blatant discrimination represented by its all-male priesthood, with no evidence it has even dawned on them that the very nature of the priesthood is discriminatory. A “priest,” that is, is not the same as a “minister.”

A priest to a Catholic is endowed with powers denied to us poor laymen.

He can transmit God’s forgiveness of sin; he can confer blessings that we cannot confer; he can change “the substance” of mere bread and wine into something beyond the natural.

Now I find it astonishing these liberal writers can believe in priests at all, any kind of priest, male or female.

When I asked one of them how come this could be, he emphatically denied he believed a person of such extraordinary powers could exist. It was all hocus-pocus.

Then how, I asked, can you believe in women priests? He looked puzzled, then replied:

“Well I don’t believe there can be such a thing as a ‘priest.’ But if I did believe there could be priests, then I would certainly believe there must also be women priests.”

I told him that a lot of people would have difficulty understanding this position.

Anyway, we saw it all again last week after Anglican bishops by a vote of 21-to-19 decided their church would not bless same-sex unions. The laity and the lesser clergy had approved of them, but without the OK of the bishops, the church’s answer was no. The Evangelical Lutherans came to the same conclusion.

“Wise leaders know,” intoned one Toronto editorial, “that no institution can remain impervious to social change if it also remains committed to being a key piece of the social fabric. Homosexual unions are an accepted legal fact of life in Canada.”

Whatever else might be implied here, the writer himself is apparently “impervious to statistical fact.”

About 40 years ago, the Anglican Church hired Pierre Berton to critique the church from an atheist viewpoint. Berton recommended it change its traditionalist ways and become instead what he called “relevant.” It embraced his advice, and followed the march of mankind.

From that time onward, its membership has been going straight down. Today, while some two million people tell census-takers they are Anglicans, only 800,000 appear on the church’s rolls, and less than 300,000 show up on Sunday. Meanwhile, the United Church, which eagerly followed exactly the same path, has seen its membership drop from two million to 500,000. Three quarters of the members have gone.

Meanwhile, Evangelical and Pentecostal churches and many Catholic churches outside Quebec, all steadfastly remaining “impervious to social change,” have seen their membership either hold steady or more often remarkably rise.

To which the liberal replies, as does this editorialist: If you want to “remain a key piece of the social fabric,” you must go the way of the world.

“Remain a piece of the social fabric?”

What on earth does he mean? What is this “social fabric” he’s talking about?

Apparently it has two kinds of pieces, key and non-key. Some of us are key, some not.

Disapproving of sodomy removes any possibility of your being a key piece.

Some kind of “shunning” must be going on here—like in the old Puritan communities of New England.

If you somehow cease being a key piece, do you get put in the stocks? Do they hang a red letter around your neck?

And who decides, you wonder, who’s a key piece and who’s isn’t.

Perhaps our editorialist could address this question for us.

Once he gets beyond the immediate field of religion, he might not sound like quite such a jackass.

Latest posts by Ted Byfield (see all)

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