tuttle wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:30 pm
Del wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:58 am
FredS wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:49 am
Shall we just cut to the chase and admit that Protestants (this one anyway) cringe at this level of Papal Authority?
That is really the heart of it. And a worthy objection, in my opinion.
If this were some new rule, I would also be appalled.
But the essence here is to prevent abuses. The Church has used grape wine and wheat flour since the time of the Apostles, for deeply biblical reasons.
All we are saying is that commercial "gluten-free" products are not assured of keeping biblical purity. Let's make sure that we stay with what we were given from the Apostles as we strive to accommodate those with modern allergy problems.
This letter offers guidance toward how we can do both -- preserve the integrity of the gospel sacraments and the health of believers. It is pastoral care when we need it, which is why Jesus gave us a Church.
To be honest, I brought this up, not because I'm cringing at Papal Authority, but because (aside from it being a relevant topic both in the news, and something our church does) I thought it was 1) oddly exclusionary and 2) confusing.
1) I find it odd that they'd nix gluten free, but still be cool with grape juice in special cases. Why is it cool to allow one man's exception to the norm and exclude the other? I guess it seems somewhat arbitrary once non-alcoholic juice and GMOs are involved. Which leads to:
2) I find it confusing that the argument being made for this is that the wheat must be pure. How is genetically modified wheat "pure"?
I guess there could be a third reason, and that is slightly theological. I'm trying to imagine what Paul would be thinking, especially in light of such sayings as, "So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together." I know there are good reasons for people to be excluded from the Supper, I just thought this was an odd reason for excluding certain people from partaking the bread.
We tend to think scientifically, which causes us to wonder whether hybrid seed or GMO manipulation has changed wheat significantly from the heirloom strains of 200 years ago. How does an agricultural biologist see the wheat?
The Church thinks philosophically. Does it have the nature of wheat? Or the nature of not-wheat? In other words, how does God see the wheat?
And then there is the notion of "exclusion." Catholics talk about "making a spiritual communion," when one is not physically able to do so. Or even when one is not "properly disposed" to receive the Sacrament.
In the context of St. Paul's comments, he was not talking about receiving Christ in the Eucharist. He was talking about taking a meal together, in fellowship. The problem in Corinth is that the potluck dinner was confused with the Eucharistic celebration, and St. Paul set that right for us the next time he visited Corinth.
If you ever have an opportunity to worship with an Orthodox community, be very eager to accept the invitation! They will show you how the reverence of receiving Christ in ancient worship is followed by the fellowship of sharing a meal. Clearly separate, but intimately attached. This is what St. Paul was speaking of.
And perhaps some of the best ethnic home cooking you will ever experience.