Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lutheran Critique of Catholics: Practise What You Preach

A Lutheran pastor remarked to me that, having seen how average Australian Catholic priests celebrate Mass, he finds their lack of reverence, their blase demeanour startling: to Australian Lutherans, their behaviour would seem to convey disbelief in the Real Presence.

Case 1: "The Lord be with you." ... "Lift up your hearts." ... "Let us give thanks to the Lord our God." ... "Father, all-powerful and ever-living God..." - All this said by a priest, WHILE he flicked through the pages of the Missal, trying to find the right Preface for the day (could he not have set the tags beforehand?). What poor liturgy.

Case 2: The Catholic priest recites the words of the Eucharistic Prayer with eyes fixed on - the congregation. The moment of consecration becomes an overblown pantomime, as he burlesques the gestures for "take this ALL of you" (host waved about in a semicircle), etc. Does the priest realize that he is praying to God?

Case 3: The Lutheran stands amazed at the sight of Catholics standing for Communion - for Aussie Lutherans all kneel.

Apparently he finds his ecumenical interlocutors sometimes the best argument for staying Lutheran, and keeping well away from Catholics!

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