On being a Mennonite Catholic (which I’m not but this guy this!)

To participate in “one holy, catholic, and apostolic” Church is (I would submit) more urgent in the 21st century and more relevant to our age of globalization than ever. 

“One” reminds us of the bonds of human solidarity that the Church as sacrament both makes real and points toward.

“Holy” reminds us that our life together as Christians must be guided not by the ever-shifting cultural pressures around us, but by obedience to God.

And just when we’re tempted to be counter-cultural in ways that are merely grumpy, “apostolic” reminds us to engage every time and every culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ that stands the test of centuries yet is ever new and creative.

To be Mennonite Catholic, then, is to say this: Yes, the Church has sometimes needed a prophetic message so urgently that some group of Christians has needed to embody that message so poignantly that they risk rejection and expulsion into exile as a separate church body.  But to be a Mennonite Catholic is simultaneously to say: God always intends such witness to help transform the whole (catholic) body, not to cement an eternal split…

Imagine a Church — not a Church so perfect that sinners despaired of approaching it — but a Church that gave fresh hope to the world by responding a little more faithfully to the work of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost…

It would be a Church that could not sing without feeding the poor, nor feed the poor without nourishment from the Eucharist, nor pass the peace without living peaceably in the world, nor be peacemakers without depending on prayer, nor pray without joining in robust song.

– Gerald Schlabach, Statement upon confirmation in the Catholic Church (Pentecost Vigil, 2004)

Image: HT


4 responses to “On being a Mennonite Catholic (which I’m not but this guy this!)

  1. Pingback: Determined to know one thing? « All Along the Watchtower·

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