Why is it always a United Church?

  • June 18, 2008

I have many good friends in the United Church, and they always seem very respectful toward Catholic teachings and practices, even if they disagree with them. Yet it seems lately that every protest by disaffected Catholics takes place in a United Church. Perhaps I exaggerate, but a little incident here in Quebec reinforces that impression.

The Wednesday, June 18, issue of Le Soleil, a Quebec City daily, carries some lovely coverage of the Eucharistic Congress, with a lengthy piece on Jean Vanier. Yet there was also the inevitable church protest story.

Entitled, "Protesters denounce exclusion," the story describes plans by Rev. Gerald Doré of St. Pierre United Church, to hold a service for all those "formally excluded from the Eucharist by the Catholic Church." This includes divorcees whose marriages have not been annulled, cohabiting couples, and homosexuals.

The service will take place just before the closing Mass Sunday on the Plains of Abraham. Then, Rev. Doré will send them all over to the Plains so they can attend the Mass. Where they will be welcomed, we should add.

Yes, the current church rules insist that our souls be cleansed of major sin before we receive the Eucharist. That goes for other major sins, too, not just sexual ones. And yes, we continue to have debate in the church over the correct pastoral approach for divorced couples, etc.

But why does a United Church minister feel he needs to interfere with Catholic liturgies and beliefs? It reminds me of a case about a year ago in Toronto when a United Church hosted an "ordination" of women "of a certain age" who were protesting the Catholic Church's refusal to allow female ordination.

Are they looking for recruits?

Fortunately, other Christian ministers refused to endorse Rev. Doré's plans, saying they can express their differences with Catholics without making an embarrassing spectacle out of their liturgies. Amen.


For more coverage by the Catholic Register on the 49th International Eucharistic Congress see:

You’ll know they are pilgrims by their backpacks

Your TV eye on the Eucharistic Congress

This just in from head office

Rain or applause?

There's plenty of elbow room

Where are young priests? Right here

Something old, something new

Those clerics are everywhere

The Eucharist is also service

More on the numbers front

Spending a little quiet time with Jesus

New priests bring new life to church

We're all softies at heart



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