Thursday, December 29, 2011

Confessions of a Post-Catholic Priest

I still wonder if this whim to take up blogging again after a long hiatus will stick.  Perhaps it will.  Perhaps it will not.  I am not the same blogger that I once was, and yet I am.  I affirm continuity and consistency, but I also acknowledge development, evolution, and emergence (yes, “emergence” is the proper term, as is “post-catholic” to describe this project).  While my former blog was an ambitious attempt to explore the possible course that catholicity would take in the third millennium, this project begins with the realization and admission that “catholic” has become (and actually has always been, if we are honest) a wax nose shaped according to the will of those who would fashion it in their own image.  Indeed, the three principle communions which lay claim to the “catholic and apostolic” identity (Roman, Byzantine, and Anglican) have three mutually exclusive definitions for it.

One might ask: has post-modernity caught up to me?  Yes, I admit this. But I do not identify with the “Emergent or Emerging Church.” So-called “emergents” tinker with theology and church. Nevertheless, I do identify with (or rather I have begun to recognize in myself) postfoundationalism. “Christianity must change, or else die” (to paraphrase John Shelby Spong).

I simply cannot abandon the term "catholic."  Suffice it to say, for now, “post-catholic” does not mean “ex-catholic” or “former catholic.”  I can no more abandon my Christian heritage (Scriptures, liturgy, creeds) than I can disown my ancestry.  Rather, as others have noted in different contexts, “post” means something more like “beyond” or “moving on from."  The Christian story – from virgin birth to resurrection – is just as much my story now as it ever has been; though what this story may mean from a third-millennium perspective…well, that is what I hope to explore.

"Believing Thomas" (nom de plume)