Thursday, 23 July 2015

When I Was Protestant and When I Was Orthodox

When I was Protestant, I believed as Catholics do and as I do now about the Eucharist. Getting Protestant views explained was one of the reasons I converted. Especially as a Lutheran "priest" as I recall (I heard he denied saying it) once used Zwingli's argument as an argument for agnosticism about the issue - and that is less Catholic than standard Lutheranism (yes, Luther was more Catholic than Zwingli on THIS issue, though not Catholic enough).

When I was Protestant, I believed as SSPX Catholics about the Papacy - with Luther for my Monseigneur Lefèbvre, with Inquisition and Indulgences for my Novus Ordo and Dignitatis Humanae. I changed views when reading in Umberto Eco whom the Inquisitioners really targetted. Hint : Albigensians were not Evangelicals.

When I was Roumanian Orthodox (after first time I accepted Ratzinger after having been Sede "under" Wojtyla, before getting back to Ratzinger for a second time), I believed as Catholics do about filioque, except I didn't believe it belonged in the creed. I considered the Creed without it as "Traditional Latin Mass" and the Creed with it as "Novus Ordo".

Why am I saying this?

Well, I was reading the beginning of an article by a Protestant gone Catholic, and back when he was Protestant, he had a really Protestant view of Holy Communion. He began his article with, first sentence of 4th paragraph, "As a Protestant, I believed that the Lord’s Supper — Communion — was just a memorial feast." I never did. Learning about Sacrifice of the Mass was part of my Catholic conversion process, and before that (i e up to reading Name of the Rose) I had never been sufficiently aware of it to be against it any more than for it. But Real Presence, yes, that I believed in, and I was not quite happy with Luther's tergiversations to avoid straight forward Transsubstantiation either.

So, if ANYONE wonders how someone who has believed "the Lord's Supper" were somehow "JUST a memorial" changed his mind in a Catholic way, I am not the right person to ask. Get to this here article instead:

ChurchPop : What Changed This Protestant’s Mind About the Eucharist
by Albert Little

And if anyone wonders why I never was into what he describes in his paragraph four, part of the reason is, I was living in Vienna while becoming a Christian (except first few months in US, Bible given on flight by ma), and part of the reason is, I was told to read the Bible, and I never found the words "do this ONLY as a remembrance of me and don't imagine it's my body or anything" anywhere in any Gospel or Epistle.

I don't think anyone can derive Protestant doctrine on this matter from Bible texts according to Bible alone, if that is taken seriously. I do think people who thought perhaps Real Presence and then Sacrifice of Mass unattractive also promoted Bible Alone because Bible is somewhat less specific to the unaware eye than Catholic Theology about these matters. I also think people getting "Bible Alone" through Protestant Tradition are in fact getting "Bible + Protestant Tradition" and then these views of the Eucharist and Holy Mass as part of Protestant Tradition, but thought of (like Protestant Tradition) as part of "Bible Alone".

And obviously, Orthodox believe basically as Catholics, not as Zwinglians, about Holy Mass and the Blessed Sacrament. So, that was what I believed as an Orthodox too.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
St Bridget of Vadstena

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