Father Joe Girzone states that the Roman Catholic Church (with a capital “C”) is the sole authority, having faithfully handed down the message of Jesus by the laying on of hands, Peter to apostle to bishop for two thousand years.
“God is not pleased when people cut themselves off from others and tell God they will worship Him on their own, and in the way they want. Jesus gathered people together in community, and promised to be forever with the apostles he appointed to lead that community. So, church, as people now call it, is important, and the apostles he sent are still here to teach and guide. Accepting them is also important, if people are to honor God in the way He directed.”
In Joe’s context, Protestants have formed a church (with a lower case “c”), cut off from the true Church and from the unified community Jesus formed. The only authorized teachers are the apostles and those who have been personally appointed by them. We who have not followed this path do not honor God in the way God intended.
I will be very honest here. This hurts. I spent the entire week trying to be intellectually honest, trying to truly understand this perspective, giving respect where it is due. I really asked, “What if this is true and we have been wrong for five hundred years?” The Church believes that Protestantism will one day dry up and go away. That is what Jesus is waiting for before he returns.
I was left desolate. Can it really be that I cannot know Jesus personally?
It is clear, as we shall see in the next two posts, that the only path to unity from the Catholic perspective is a U-turn, returning to the Catholic church en masse.
I respectfully believe there is another path to unblocking the flow of unity.
It is called Streamside.
Stay tuned for more perspective in Part 4. Don’t try to solve the divide until Part 9 of the series.