Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Protestant’

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

November 5th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November . . . ”

Some of you may be wondering who on Earth “Guy Fawkes” is. Let me give you the condensed version of his story:

In essence, he was a peeved English Catholic, angered by the lack of civil rights afforded Catholics in the early 17th Century under the reign of James I, the son of Mary Queen of Scots, martyr for the Roman Catholic Church. James, however, turned his back on his mother’s legacy and thoroughly embraced the Protestantism of Elizabethan England. And so, like any rationally-thinking Englishman displeased with the political and religious trends of the day, he planned to blow up Parliament and the entire House of Lords with a secret stash of gunpowder. Of course, he was was caught and tortured until he broke his silence and explained the whole plot and those who were involved. The “Catholic plot” to topple Protestant England was actually one of the main reasons that Catholics enjoyed less civil rights than any other group in England, well into the 1800’s. And thus the traditional celebration on this day, the day upon which those wicked Catholics failed to blow up God’s chosen people (or so the Tudors and Stuarts would say).

So I’d like to take this moment to remind you not to attempt to blow up those who oppress us in one way or another. It’s uncouth.

And one final interesting thing about King James – it is speculated by many reputable historians that James was, in our own contemporary terminology, a “flamer.” He had several . . . special . . . male friends who always seemed to be hovering around his throne. Indeed, there was a popular saying in England at this time which stated, “Rex fuit Elizabeth, nunc est regina Iacobus” (Elizabeth was King, now James is Queen). Who says you can’t have fun with Latin? 

More Episcopalians Come Home

October 25th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Mt. Calvary Church in Baltimore, founded in 1842, has voted to enter the Catholic Church. In Fr. Z’s words, “Pope Benedict is the Pope of Christian Unity.”

Mount Calvary voted on two resolutions today at a special meeting following 10:00 Mass:

1) That Mt. Calvary Church separate itself from The Episcopal Church, and

2) That Mt. Calvary Church seek admission to the Roman Catholic Church as an Anglican Use parish.

Both resolutions passed by majorities of almost 85%.

The ballots were counted by two disinterested outsiders: Dr. Daniel Page (a friend of many parishioners who lives nearby) and Sister Mary Joan of the All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor.

The ballots were counted in the presence of the Rev. Scott Slater, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Maryland.

A Nod of the Miter Goes To . . .

September 10th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

. . . the spirit of creativity.

I have to admit, sometimes we “conservatives”/”traddies”/”reactionaries” can lose a little creativity. We don’t think outside the box. I thought we were oh-so-witty when we came up with the “Nod of the miter” and “Smack of the crosier” segments, but I would like to thank Ray Grosswirth for helping us break free of our stale patterns of humor. While we may have the “Nod of the miter,” only Ray can confer the “Nod of the Lampshade.”

Kudos, Ray. You keep the Spirit alive with your labors.

"Hello. I'm Ray Grosswirth, married priest from Rochester, New York. (Insert long pause.) I'd like to give a Nod of the Lampshade (long pause) to the staff of Cleansing Fire. (Vacant stare.)"

Dumb Move

September 8th, 2010, Promulgated by Nerina

As with the GZ Mosque controversy, I think this news story falls under “they have the right to do it, but is it the right thing to do?”

A Quintessential Father Z. Rant

July 27th, 2010, Promulgated by Nerina

I know that Father John Zuhlsdorf  isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea,” but he is at his finest today as he “fisks” a column from the National Catholic Reporter (or in Fr. Z. world – fishwrap).  Note that one of his tags on this piece is called “Throwing a Nutty.”  I think the CF staff needs to consider adding this to our list of tags.  Enjoy the master at work.

In His Peace,


Sound Familiar?

July 21st, 2010, Promulgated by benanderson

This was posted on First Things First Thoughts today:

I’ve never heard of a religion consultant before, but I think the United Methodists may be using one. According to a BeliefNet report, the United Methodist church recently completed a study of 32,000 Methodist congregations, aiming to reestablish ecclesial vitality in the face of a financial downturn.

According to a “vitality index” constructed by the consultants at Towers Watson, four key areas drive the life of the Methodist church:

. . . small groups and programs, worship services that mix traditional and contemporary styles with an emphasis on relevant sermons; pastors who work hard on mentorship and cultivation of the laity; and an emphasis on effective lay leadership.

The study did turn up some surprising results. According to the data, it did not matter whether ministers held seminary degrees; whether pastoral ministry was a first or second career; or how long the minister had been engaged in pastoral ministry.

I wonder if the Towers Watson consultants are believers. Something just tells me their research for this project didn’t involve long nights at the office pouring over the Sermon on the Mount.

Honest and Open Dialogue – Ray Gives it a Flush

July 18th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

From the man that perpetually touts “honest and open dialogue,” and condemns those that appear to be too “black and white,” comes a new video which surmounts his previous achievements in the realm of theological and ecclesial lunacy.

Here is his video, in which he declares, “Communication from the Vatican? Give it a flush!” What absolutely adolescent behavior from a man trying to be the champion of his cause. How can you claim to want genuine dialogue, then call the Successor to St. Peter stupid? That’s not dialogue. What it is, however, is sticking his fingers in his ears while yelling “I’m Ray Grosswirth, married priest from Rochester, New York!!!! I’m not listening!!!! I’m not listening!!!!”

Enough games, Ray. People tire of the same old toilet humor antics. Then again, it is a fitting metaphor that liberal thoughts and efforts for “reform” have their seat in your bathroom, whereas ours starts before the Blessed Sacrament.

Chava on the Church

July 12th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Chava Redonnet, pretend priestess of the Spiritus Christi religion, weighs in on the church closings plaguing the Diocese of Rochester in today’s Democrat & Chronicle. Through her letter, she has taken advantage of the suffering and sadness of these people in order to peddle the Spiritus Christi vision for the Catholic Church (of which they are no longer a part). Let me tell you, Ms. Redonnet, the good people of St. Thomas the Apostle are true and loyal Catholics. They will not jump ship to support your false religion, no matter how upset they may be with the diocese. So please, take your non-denominational tactic of pouncing at the suffering of others elsewhere. You are not gaining any supporters here.

From the Democrat & Chronicle:

Church in period of major change

I read with sadness of the recent closing of Our Lady of Mercy Church, and the efforts of parishioners to keep St Thomas the Apostle. It seems to me that much of the pain of these and other parish closings comes from the lack of real participation or decision-making power on the part of the laity. The model of church that has a few people at the top making the crucial decisions is a remnant of a time when the clergy were almost the only educated people around. The lay people of today are educated and competent, and capable of making difficult decisions.

Can we envision a church in which we’re all equals, where we recognize that the people are the church? [emphasis mine] The Catholic Church is in a time of major change, even crisis. It’s a good moment to ask: What is church? Where are we going? And how do we get there, together?


Another One (PCUSA) Bites the Dust

July 10th, 2010, Promulgated by benanderson

Delegates to the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly in Minneapolis voted July 8 to allow the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals but shelved a proposal to redefine marriage in a way that would include same-sex couples.

By a vote of 373 (53.59 percent) to 323 (46.41 percent), delegates approved the measure on homosexual clergy

Dislcaimer #1: Cleansing Fire loves all people including those with SSA (same-sex attraction).  We condemn no one as we have no authority to do so.  We acknowledge that human beings often have natural desires through no fault of their own.  However, we stand with the Church in our belief that not all natural desires are good desires that should be indulged in.  People with SSA should be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.   Those who attempt to live chastely should be commended.  We, in no way, wish to take away the free choice of those who choose to live out the homosexual lifestyle.  However, we do judge such behavior to be out of line with Christian morality as clearly defined by both of our sources of God’s One Word; Scripture and Tradition.  We also believe that through human reason alone (w/out the aid of God’s revelation) it can be shown that societies should not validate such lifestyles.

Disclaimer #2:  There is no such thing as “The Presbyterian Church”.  There are many presbyterian churches and some of them still hold strongly to true Christian morals.

Calvinist Orthodoxy

June 24th, 2010, Promulgated by benanderson

Dr. David Anders claims that Evangelicals EITHER need to make a clean break from the Reformation fathers and admit that their religion doesn’t go back more than a couple hundred years and was invented in America OR truly embrace what the Reformation fathers actually stood for and taught.  In this essay, he lays out what that might look like for a self described calvinist:

The greatest irony in my historical research was realizing that Evangelicalism, far from being the direct descendant of Calvin, actually represents the failure of Calvinism. Whereas Calvin spent his life in the quest for doctrinal unity, modern Evangelicalism is rooted in the rejection of that quest. Historian Alister McGrath notes that the term “Evangelical,” which has circulated in Christianity for centuries, took on its peculiar modern sense only in the twentieth century, with the founding of the National Association of Evangelicals (1942). This society was formed to allow coordinated public action on the part of disparate groups that agreed on “the new birth,” but disagreed on just about everything else.

Interestingly enough, Dr. Anders was on Fr. Mitch Pacwa’s show the other night discussing exactly this topic:

Also, if you’re wondering why we Catholics should care to learn about protestantism, it is because I believe that there are many cradle-protestants and cradle-catholics-turned-protestants to be brought into the One, True, Church right here in Rochester. I am totally blown away by the number of resources available today. If you have friends and family who are protestant and you think might be open to learning their roots and possibly investigating Catholicism (even if only to prove that you need to stop being Catholic), try to point them to the Internet, get them some books, get them listening to Catholic Radio, or have them email me The Truth has never been more accessible than it is today. Our humble collection of protestant related posts can be found through our tags here:

“I wonder how Luther broke the spell”

June 11th, 2010, Promulgated by benanderson

Building on Bernie’s post the other day, here’s a John Adam’s quote from the book the The letters of John and Abigail Adams

This afternoon, led by curiosity and good company, I strolled away to mother church, or rather to grandmother church. I mean the Romish chapel. I heard a good, short moral essay upon the duty of parents to their children, founded in justice and charity, to take care of their interests, temporal and spiritual. This afternoon’s entertainment was to me most awful and affecting; the poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin not a word of which they understood; their pater nosters and ave Marias; their holy water; their crossing themsleves perpetually; their bowing to the name of Jesus, whenever they hear it; their bowings and kneelings and genuflections before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich with lace. His pulpit was velvet and gold. The altarpiece was very rich; little images and crucifixes about; wax candles lighted up. But how shall I describe the picture of our Saviour in a frame of marble over the altar, at full length, upon the cross in the agonies, and the blood dropping and streaming from his wounds! The music, consisting of an organ and a choir of singers, went all the afternoon except sermon time. And the assembly chanted most sweetly and exquisitely.

Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear, and imagination – everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.

An authentic Catholic liturgy is repulsive to a protestant who is set in their protestant world view (as it should be).  Repulsive, yes; but strangely attractive.  Attractive enough that it could make the protestant curious enough to start asking questions.  And that’s the death kiss for the protestant.  For once you start asking questions and if, by the grace of God, someone gives you authentic Catholic Answers, then… well… “WELCOME HOME!”

~Sola Fide => ~Sola Gratia?

June 10th, 2010, Promulgated by benanderson

Jimmy Akin fielded an interesting question during the 6/3 show of CA Live.  If you listen to the show much, you’ll recognize this caller, Jason.  He’s a protestant who’s very respectful of the show and has been calling in quite a bit and asks pretty good questions.  His question this time was:

if you don’t subscribe to Sola Fide, how can you subscribe to Sola Gratia?

My paraphrasing of Jimmy’s response:

If God tells you to put on a funny hat and that by doing so you’ll be saved, would you say that you earned your salvation?

Here’s the whole call (about 10 minutes)

If you don’t have 10 minutes, I’ve snipped it up even more so that it’s reduced to the wisdom of Jimmy Akin (about 2 minutes)