Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Advice For the New Convert to Catholicism: Don't Join the Dreaded Liturgy Police

Devin Rose has a good post about some tips for the new Catholic convert. I added my own based on personal experience with the DLLP. These are the Dreaded Local Liturgy Police. These are a select group of Catholics, usually converts, who spent their lives as protestants looking for the perfect Church. Bingo! They found it! But then.......see below.

My suggestion to new converts, particularly from evangelical protestant expressions is this: DON”T BECOME A PART OF THE DREADED LOCAL LITURGY POLICE! (DLLP) I can’t emphasize this enough as I have seen good solid evangelicals become good solid Catholics because protestantism wasn’t enough, but then before you know it, basic Catholicism wasn’t enough, so then they sought the tridentine mass (which is fine) but then before you know it, the novus ordo mass is barely licit and most Catholics in this parish are "sheeple" and the "bishop in my diocese are so liberal" and "Vatican 2 may or may not have been a valid council." This then leads to…sedesville, (sedevacantism) where the Church is not the Church and you have appointed yourself to know which popes are the valid ones…. this ultimately leads back to protesting, again, a full circle. Remember folks, we tolerated and lived in heresy and schism for years with no sacraments, no Jesus in the Eucharist, no confession, heretical teaching and preaching. Now we waltz into the Catholic Church that Jesus started and demand instant liturgical /musical/communal perfection? Yes the Church is Christ’s bride, but she is often not without spot or wrinkle and it is usually not the convert's or revert's vocation to correct the 2000 year old Church and make her see it their way. Remember good Dr.  Luther who started out with the right heart but things went badly, very badly, very quickly when he decided he knew more than the pope. The Church is full of wheat and tares Jesus tells us. Just try not to be a tare yourself.
      I would encourage you to be extremely thankful for God opening your eyes to the Truth and when you genuflect deeply toward the tabernacle before and after every Mass, thank God for the wonder of His coming to us in the flesh, under the appearances of simple bread and wine, and realizing He lets us consume Him and we are consumed by Him….Even when the sermon stunk, the music was lousy and some of the priests gestures were not particularly reverent, or meeting your expectations.


Blogger Devin Rose said...

Thanks Russ, great points.

June 11, 2012 11:06 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

thanks Devin. Your post partly inspired this rant, but also I came upon a Catholic blog recently that was hosting some Catholic converts from fundamentalism who were basically maligning the Church in veiled terms. If I was a protestant reading their blog, I wouldn't want to even consider the faith. It made me realize that it's just a matter of time before these folks bail. When we start to think we know more than the pope, time to head for the confessional.

June 11, 2012 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The early reformation was not a true reformation, in that the Reformers were kicked out. Maybe it'll be different this time.....

June 12, 2012 10:04 AM  
Blogger Kneeling Catholic said...

Dr. Russ,

My ears are burning! Would someone who does the following make them one of your guilty parties in this post?

1. Starting a blog asking why American clergy are so luke-warm about the Holy Father's humble invitation to all: kneel for Holy Communion.

2. Asking one's local pastor to please ask people to spit out their chewing gum before munching the Holy Eucharist into it...and then presumably tossing the gum and Holy Fragments into the garbage.

3. Asking one's local Catholic school to please teach one's children to learn some Catholic prayers before learning a whole slew of Protestant sing-a-longs?

4. Quitting a parish which invites a Methodist Preacher/Convert FROM Catholicism to preach the Homily? How did we find out he had left the Church? He told us so in his homily!


June 12, 2012 5:03 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Kneeling Catholic:
I suppose it depends on your motivation for blogging the dirty laundry of your parish.

My goal of blogging on the internet is to show the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith. I would like to invite non-Catholics to consider the claims of the Church and "come and see."

If your goal is to keep people from ever considering the Catholic faith, then highlighting the liberal priests and liturgical abuses may just do the trick. If you wish to keep seekers away from the faith, then pointing out the "non-kneeling Catholics" and poor catechesis in our schools may cement a protestant's decision to remain put. (BTW, the pope has given the authority to the bishops to decide the norms for receiving the Eucharist. If the bishop allows for Him to be received standing which is most parishes, then it is not an irreverent practice)

I already have non-Catholics in my life show me the horror stories about Catholics on a regular basis, pointing me to articles on every bad priest or crazy liturgical practice. I have malevolent interlopers come to my blog all the time attempting to criticize the Catholic faith. There are enough blogs out there criticizing the Church from without. I am not sure that the goals for the New Evangelization of John Paul 2 will be met by blogging about the gum chewing, protestant hymn singing Catholics in your diocese.

I may be wrong about this but criticizing your parish openly in a public blog may border on the sin of detraction. I would ask you to speak to your spiritual director about this.

Again, it all comes down to goals. If your purpose is to attract like-minded Catholics to commiserate with your unfortunate liturgical experiences, perhaps a private blog would be the way to go, especially if the purpose is to approach the bishop in an canonically ordered fashion with the hopes of getting the abuses corrected.
If your goal is to present the Church as a viable alternative to protestantism, I suspect you won't be that successful with posts such as yours about "luke-warm" clergy.
The Catholic Church is not a "utopia" and converts find out soon enough. But blogging the dirty laundry of the Church to me, is especially egregious when it comes from within the Church. Again, I suggest you consult with your spiritual director to see if he encourages you to post such things on the web. Thanks for visiting Crossed the Tiber!

June 12, 2012 6:19 PM  
Anonymous susie said...

ONE BIG, no, HUGE AMEN! Almost fell into that myself. Thank God for my WISE husband, and that I "finally" am listening to him more than I used to...PRAISE GOD!

June 13, 2012 8:36 AM  

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