Showing posts with label UURC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UURC. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sacred Heart of Jesus parish excludes child of a lesbian couple from their parish school.

There was a rally outside at Sunday services of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Boulder, Colorado on March 7, 2010 to protest the exclusion of a student from the church's school because the child's parents are a same-sex couple.

This kind of institutional homophobic discrimination is one of the reasons that I have moved from Roman Catholicism to Unitarian Universalism.

There was a very good article about this situation published on March 15, 2010 in the National Catholic Reporter. To read it, click here.

If there are other Roman Catholics who are repulsed by the RC's homophobic discrimination, maybe, like me, they could find a home in Unitarian Universalism.

This is article #9 in a series on Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholicism.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Was Pope John Paul II a Unitarian Universalist?

"On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and to return to the ways of peace....Violence only delays the day of justice. Violence destroys the work of justice...Do not follow any leaders who train you in the ways of inflicting death. Love life, respect life, in yourself and others. Give yourself to the service of life, not the work of death...Violence is the enemy of justice. Only peace can lead the way to true justice."

Pope John Paul II.

He sounds like a Unitarian Universalist to me in this quote.

This is article #9 in a series on Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholicism.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"...we are saying that good ends cannot justify immoral means. For example, defending one's coungtry or protecting freedom does not justify the use of weapons which kill indiscriminantly and threatens whole societies. We fear that our nation and world are headed in the wrong direction."

The Challenge Of Peace, Par. 332

U.S. Roman Catholic Bishops

This is an important, planet saving, topic that Unitarian Universalists and Roman Catholics can agree. The militarization of the United States, and its atomic arsenal, consitutes a threat to the whole planet. Could there be any more important topic which deserves our attention and action along with global warming?

As I reflect on my Roman Catholicism as a born again Unitarian Universalist, one of the aspects of my RC is its social justice teachings. There are segments of the Roman Catholic church that really try to live the Sermon On The Mount. I think it is in this area that RC and UU have a lot in common.

This is article #7 in a series on Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholicism.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Modern day heroes - Father Daniel Berrigan

From the This Week In Peace History web site:

February 24, 1972

Daniel Berrigan (one of the "Catonsville 9") was released after 18 months of a three-year term. He went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where his brother Phil Berrigan was on trial, also for anti-Vietnam War activities [see February 21, 1972].

One of the reasons that I cherish my Roman Catholic background is because of people like Father Daniel Berrigan. He lived the faith and put himself on the line for peace, justice, compassion, and he exercised his right of conscience at a time when our nation was involved in an immoral, and unjust war, Viet Nam.

If we had more Dan Berrigan's we would not have the mess we are living in today.

I am not familiar with Unitarian Universalist war protesters in that time period. I am sure there were some. Can anyone name any? Did any of them make the public witness like Dan Berrigan and his brother, Phil?

Oh, and by the way, I consider Dan Berrigan a Luminary. He certainly has been a Luminary in my life.

This is article #6 in a series on UURC.

Where are the UU saints?

One of the reasons that Unitarian Universalism is such a small denomination is because there is nothing in it to catch the imagination of the common folk.

The Roman Catholic church has all its Saints. They are a wonderful panoply of people to imagine, pray to, call upon for wisdom, example, support.

I think the UUA should start a liturgical calendar which has a celebration every day of the year in memory of a great Unitarian Universalist or an important event.

God knows we have plenty of our forebearers who it is easy to look up to and draw wisdom from such as Susan B. Anthony, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Olympia Brown, and Boston Unitarian regularly features sermons and writings of inspiring preachers of the past.

Unitarian Uiversalists with our tradition of drawing from many sources would have even more great human beings to celebrate and emulate. Last week Boston Unitarian had some clips from sermons by Nathan Parker. It was good stuff. It made me think.

I don't think Unitarian Universalists would feel comfortable with the word "Saints" attached to these people, but maybe they would. I have been using the word "Luminary" instead thinking it might be more acceptable to people. A Luminary is a bright light, a shining example of people we might want to celebrate and emulate. They are good people who have lead the way and continue to lead the way in their example. There values, beliefs, and actions are kept alive in the stories we tell about their lives.

Can't you see a bobble head of Susan B. on the dash board of your car? How about a relic of some fabric of a dress she wore encased in a suitable monstrance for remembrance?

One of the practices and traditions of the Catholic Church which I treasure and miss is the celebration of the saints. I don't think it is hard to import this practice into Unitarian Universalism.

The UUA needs to construct a liturgical calendar of UU celebrated saints and events. It would even be nice to have some of our own Holy Days and observances. Flower communion is a start.

This is article #5 on UURC.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What's in a name?

I laughed to myself this morning when I discovered that today is the feast day of St. Polycarp of Smyrna.

What I found funny was the fact that being raised Roman Catholic and having had nine children, I was taught that it is a tradition in the Catholic church to name one's child after a saint. When is the last time you met anyone named Polycarp?

You can read more about him by clicking here.

Of course, I reminded myself, Unitarian Universalists have some forebearers with some hum dinger monikers too like Hosea Ballou. He was a second generation Universalist preacher. When is the last time you met anyone named Hosea?

You can read more about him by clicking here.

This is article #4 in a series on Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholicism

Was Jesus enlightened?

A student asked Gasan, "Have you read the Christian Bible?"

"No," Gasan said, "Read it to me."

The student opened the Bible and read from St. Mathew, "And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, either do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

"Whoever uttered those words," Gasan said, "I consider an enlightened man."

Zen Mondo

This is article #3 in a series on Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholicism.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Chair of St. Peter

February 22 is the day that the Roman Catholic church celebrates the Chair of St. Peter. Here is the Gospel reading for today:

Matthew 16:13-19

Then Jesus went into parts of Caesarea Philippi. And he questioned his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?”

And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, and others say Elijah, still others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter responded by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And in response, Jesus said to him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven.

And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound, even in heaven. And whatever you shall release on earth shall be released, even in heaven.”

Of course, Peter went on to deny Jesus, not once, not twice, but three times. Peter could have been a good Unitarian Universalist. He wasn't sure who Jesus was, or what He was, and Peter was scared to death so Peter denied Him. He certainly wasn't going down with Him when the proverbial shit hit the fan.

You gonna love Peter. He is portrayed as the salt of the earth, the common man. Peter, I think, was on a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Did Peter really say what Matthew says he said in response to Jesus' question? And even if he did, what does it mean to say that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God? We all are sons and daughters of the Living God, aren't we, and we are all called to save the world. Jesus is special because He led by example. Would I be willing to suffer and die for my Unitarian Universalist faith? I don't know for sure, but I think I might if I was ever put in that position. I know I would rather be killed than to kill. I know that the truth sets me free and to deny the truth is soul murder and I wouldn't want to live if I couldn't be honest about what I see as being of essential genuineness to me.

The other part of this remembrance today is that Jesus supposedly made Peter the head of the church. These statements by Jesus supposedly give the Pope his authority. What did Jesus mean when He supposedly said to Peter that he was rock upon which He would build his church, and that He would give Peter the keys to heaven, and what Peter would bind on earth would be bound in heaven and what would be released on earth would be released in heaven?

Remember, Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God, heaven, is within you. Jesus was not talking about temporal authority. Jesus was talking, probably, about Peter's role as a teacher, and yet Peter denied Jesus three times, and so it leaves us in an ambiguous situation in assessing Peter's authority.

Unitarian Universalists do not believe in the Pope's infallibility and they even seem to view the Pope's teaching ability with a jaundice eye. A great deal of what the Roman Catholic church teaches about the role of women, reproductive rights, the role of clergy, its governance, leaves a lot to be desired or is just plain wrong. But then again, the Roman Catholic church's teachings on social justice, the poor, and the way to God often are right and helpful.

Like any other human institution the Roman Catholic church is imperfect and its teachings about the Chair of Peter I think are wrong and that's why I have become a Unitarian Universalist. I do love Peter though. He is my kind of guy, an impulsive bungler, but down to earth and with a heart as big as a barn. That Jesus would pick such a person to lead His church should give us all hope as long as we don't take Peter and his ilk too seriously.

And dear reader if you have read this far I wonder if you are thinking what I am thinking? The President of the UUA's name is Peter. What's up with that?

This is article #2 in a series on UURC.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I am a Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholic

While I was shaving on Wednesday morning, Ash Wednesday, I started wondering what I was going to give up for Lent and whether I would go to get ashes today. Then I wondered how Unitarian Universalists celebrate Ash Wednesday and Lent and outside of what I read on Boston Unitarian I don't know.

You can take the boy out of the Roman Catholic church but can you take the Roman Catholic Church out of the boy?

No, I decided you can't.

I love my new found Unitarian Universalist faith but I also love some things about my Roman Catholic faith also. Then it hit me! I can be a Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholic.

Eureka! I've found it. I have been struggling in this direction for almost 10 years and I finally have figured it out.

Now, I have faith that the Unitarian Universalists will have me with my Roman Catholicism, but I know that the Roman Catholics, the conservative ones anyway, wouldn't have me with my Unitarian Universalism.

So I struggled a bit further. Am I a Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalist or a Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholic? I decided that I have to be a Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholic just like there are Unitarian Universalist Buddhists, and Untarian Universalist Jews, and Unitarian Universalist Wiccans, Unitarian Universalists Humanists, etc.

I told a good born-again Christian friend of mine last week that I admire him the most of any one I know besides the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and he started laughing so hard he couldn't resume the conversation for at least a minute. When I said, "Rick, what is so funny?"

He said, "Dave, I thought you were a Unitarian?"

"Well, yeah," I said, "but I guess I still believe in the Trinity sometimes."

I love Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and God the Father/Mother/It, but it doesn't bother me that they are all one too.

So, how screwed up am I?

I am not going back to straight Roman Catholic, and I love Unitarian Universalism, but I also want my ashes and to practice Lent.

I think there is room in Unitarian Universalism for Roman Catholicism and so I hope that no one is offended if I refer to myself as a UURC, a Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholic. I suspect that there are many more of us out there.

If you are a UURC too can I see a show of hands?

This is article #1 in a series on Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholicism.
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