Papa Z's Views and Comments

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!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I am not particularly a fan of the New York Yankees as a team. This being said, some of the greatest ballplayers to ever play the game have played all or part of their careers with this storied franchise -- including many of my personal favorites:

Babe Ruth

Lou Gehrig

Joe DiMaggio

Yogi Berra

Mickey Mantle

Reggie Jackson

Catfish Hunter

. . . and the list goes on.

However, I have also long believed that the ownership of the Yankeess has, for decades, been arrogant, shortsighted, and meddling -- to the detriment of the team in particular -- and all of baseball in general.

The recent forced departure of Joe Torre is the latest example.

12 seasons -- 12 playoff appearances -- 4 World Series Championships.

The ownership has taken a pathetic "But what have you done for me lately" attitude -- and one of the finest, classiest, most knowledgable baseball men alive today is out of a job.

Good luck, Joe Torre -- you deserved better than you got.

Papa Z

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


So maybe this is not quite the end.

A recent post on this blog indicated that I was through participating in CEC discussion and controversy. Since that time, however, more garbage has come to light (and I have also discovered an excellent blog -- CEC Healing, which I strongly recommend.)

For the sake of the victims involved in this latest series of scandals, I will be extremely cautious. More people have been hurt -- and I, for one, do not choose to be the one to unnecessarily exacerbate that hurt. Suffice it to say, however, that the spin out of San Clemente continues, and that the leadership has shown an astonishing talent for shifting blame away from those most in sin to those whose participation has been at best ancillary. Classic example: the recent "confession" of a former high-ranking CEC clergyman of adultery. Guess what, folks, it's not a "confession" if you get caught! And the facts of the matter being what they are -- "adultery" is a pretty disingenuous term. "Sexual/Spiritual Abuse" seems to me to be a far more accurate description of what occurred.

Another writer, commenting on another blog, has expressed doubt as to whether the CEC can recover, and become the body God wanted it to be in the first place. I believe in miracles, and affirm that God can do whatever He wants (and frequently does) but I have my doubts.

I do believe that the CEC was originally raised up by God for the purpose of reconciling many Protestants (especially Charismatics and Pentecostals) with the Catholic Church. I don't believe that the CEC was particularly unique -- merely a vehicle God used in the 20th century to try to effect healing. In my study of Church History, I can point out other examples, since the Reformation, where God has attempted to effect such reconciliation -- and all failed, due to the disobedience of men.

In the 17th Century, the Caroline Divines (Lancelot Andrewes, and company) tried to restore a strongly sacramental presence to the Church of England.

In the 18th Century, John Wesley and his Methodist movement tried to restore the importance of Communion to the Evangelical wing of the Church of England.

In the 19th Century, the Oxford Movement provided possibly the greatest attempt at real reconciliation between church bodies since the grief of the Reformation.

And in the 20th Century, the CEC was brought forth to bridge the gap which had grown between Pentecostalism and the independent churches to that Faith Once Delivered To The Saints.

All four attempts failed. Why? Not because of the faithlessness of God, but rather of the faithlessness of man.

In the 17th Century, it was a monstrosity of Puritanism (in the worst sense of the word) which ended in civil war, regicide and terror.

In the 18th century, Wesley's followers, not content to "wait on the Lord" (or on Wesley!) broke from the Church of England (and lost whatever shreds of Apostolic authority the C of E still could claim.)

In the 19th Century, there were those who followed Cardinal Newman into the Catholic Church, but there were many others who chose to try to re-create an "English Catholicism" -- a church which had never truly existed, at least, not in the way that Keble, Pusey, and Gore desperately longed for.

And in the 20th/21st century, the move of God known as the CEC was derailed, not just by the human frailty of the leadership, but also (and most importantly) by the division and non-definition of doctrine and dogma. By men who claimed to believe one thing on paper -- but preached and taught the opposite. By men who didn't believe; who didn't want to believe the original vision of the church; who drove honest believers out, and lied about their departures; and, in some cases, by men whom, I believe, were and are active tools of the enemy.

Yes, healing is possible. Restoration is possible. But there must be a return to the original vision; a laying-aside of personal agenda; and honest contrition for wrongs done.

Elsewise, God will try again. In another place. In another time. In another way. And the CEC will be consigned to the rubbish-heap of failed religious movements.

Papa Z

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