Name:
Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Monday, May 07, 2007

SUBJECT: RELIGION!!!

Apparently, the leadership of the CEC has not learned much from the events of the past 12-18 months. I just received -- unsolicited -- an e-mail from a long-time CEC priest in the Southeast who yesterday announced that he and his congregation were moving from the CEC to the newly formed Communion of Christ the Redeemer (CCR).

Within hours -- literally within hours -- the CEC leader in his state demanded the return of his ordination certificates, denounced him as a vow-breaker, and has already begun efforts to seize his church's property. And this against a man who has served as a priest for more than a decade.

For crying out loud, people, WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED???

WHEN WILL THIS NONSENSE STOP???

What is to be gained by this continued persecution?

When will the current leadership in the CEC realize that they bear enormous responsibility for the events of the last 18 months?

You know, I've heard a lot of talk about "healing" and "moving forward" and even admission of "communication breakdowns", etc. But I don't see the actions suiting the words.

Papa Z

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7 Comments:

Blogger bogey2par said...

Papa Z - just found this posting online. Would certainly like to dialogue with you a bit. I've been a member of the CEC since July 2003. Although raised Methodist and for a brief time attended the traditional Episcopal church, I didn't worship or attend church for about 20 years. The past 4 years has been about restoring my relationship with Jesus Christ with "all new" formation. Interestingly enough, much of the material given to me for the formation has come from the Roman Catholic church. The more I've read and studied, it has come to me that the CEC is trying to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. During Holy Week this spring, I was invited to attend the festivities at a local RC church, which I did. The evening of Good Friday while there, an extreme peace came over me and the thought "this is where God wants me." Following service, I was in very emotionally agonizing prayer for about two hours over leaving my "family" in the CEC.

Would u care to open a dialogue with me about this?

2:41 PM  
Blogger James S Blenkinsopp said...

Bogey,

I was also a member of the CEC and was formally received [by Confirmation and Holy Communion] into the Roman Catholic Church this past Saturday [2 June]. Feel free to e-mail me at catholictradition[at]gmail.com

I wish you peace in your discernment--I know it can be very tough making decisions like this.

6:44 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Bogey,

I would be more than happy to dialogue with you.

May you be blessed.

7:51 PM  
Blogger bogey2par said...

Papa Z- Thank you for your blessing and offer to dialogue...
not being familiar with the process, the posting I was working on was lost. Please bear with me as I learn the process.

9:10 AM  
Blogger bogey2par said...

Papa Z - continuing...
Following Holy Week, I met with the CEC parish Sr. Dn. over coffee one morning, as we have become good friends. He was wondering where I was for Holy Week. I told him where I'd been and what had happened. He wasn't very happy about the news, but was glad I was somewhere and not ditching church. He told me that if I went to Rome, it would be like a divorce for him and I would lose the friends I'd made at the CEC. His further counsel was that I should speak with the CEC parish priest and the bishop. He added that there was a right way to leave a church and a wrong way, though he didn't say what that was. So I met with the priest.
That meeting didn't go as well. He was angry and expressed that I had "deserted the family" by having accepted the invitaion. He went on to delineate all that I would lose by going to Rome, which included that I had broken my vows (which I didn't understand since I'm not ordained) and that I had been unfaithful. This last comment cut deeply since both he and the bishop have expressed a tremendous appreciation for my faithfulness as a member of the CEC. I countered that I had not, as I was worshipping in a house of the Lord and had not "just not gone to church." He came back with the example that it was like Thanksgiving dinner with Mom and Dad and I had just decided to not show up.[Incidentally, I have left names out of this post so as t avoid being a gossip. My purpose is to arrive a truth.]
I spoke to each of them, separately, a couple of days later. The deacon, to his credit, said he had prayed and would not stand in the way of what the Lord was doing in my life. The priest, however, said it was "probably a demon trying to keep me from submitting to netmending." [A couple of weeks before Ash Wednesday, I was invited to sit in a Rector's Council meeting where I was asked if I would submit to netmending, which I consented to do. (This is an interesting story itself.)]
The people of the CEC have been very good to me. I came to the CEC broken, wounded and in the midst of a personal crisis, as most of us do, right? They have prayed for, prayed with, taught and loved me. They have shown a concern for my spiritual well being.
The priest's comments have shook me. He worked with me personally on my formation, as mentioned in the first post, using several RC books. For him to question my faithfulness, is troubling. It has been my understanding that we are faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, not a denomination. Isn't this right? And if we are submitted to Him, aren't we being disobedient to not follow His leading? Am I seeing truthfully and clearly, or being deceived by our enemy?

9:54 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

bogey,

I'm sad to say that your experience is not a unique one -- especially in your part of the country. And your deacon friend is correct. If you leave your CEC church, you will, in all probability, lose friends -- or those you thought were friends.

The "broken vows" ploy has been used over and over and over again against clergy who have left the CEC; I'm very sorry to see that it is now being used against laity. Be at peace on that point; you have not broken any vows. Nor have you been unfaithful.

Beware of "netmending" sessions. You're liable to be "ganged-up" on.

My friend, I know where you are coming from. Please e-mail me privately at fatherz@charter.net.

Many blessings,

10:13 AM  
Blogger James S Blenkinsopp said...

Bogey,

That story is remarkably similar to mine, though I can't say I know anything about the "netmending" you speak of. This story seems a very common theme of CEC detractors. I will e-mail you privately.

2:42 PM  

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