An article in ‘The Weekend Australian – Magazine’ Feb 21-22, 2009, (written by Andrew Fraser) with the title ‘What Would Jesus Do?’, covers the ‘explusion’ of Father Peter Kennedy from St Mary’s Catholic Church in South Brisbane. If I accept that the article presents a reasonable account of what has happened in this catholic parish, then what did Father Kennedy, expect the Catholic Church would do; in response, to his divergence from traditional catholic teaching?
If I’m a member of a club, and I sign on to become a member of that club, there is normally an implicit agreement that I abide by the rules of the club. If I don’t, then I would expect to be expelled from the club: what part of that – don’t you understand Father Kennedy?
The spirit of the rules of the Catholic Church are covered by the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’, which comes with an authoritative, ‘Imprimi Potest’. Father Kennedy would know just how far he has moved away from the teachings of his club.
So, is the appeal, the justification for his actions – I’m doing what Jesus would do? In the article, Archbishop John Bathersby (Brisbane) is quoted as saying: “It is amazing the number of people who satisfy themselves by asking, ‘What would Jesus do?’ Only very humble and holy people would dare to try to answer that question, and if they did they would do so with the greatest caution.It is amazing how some people feel certain that they know what Jesus would do, at the same time neglecting the 2000 year old wisdom of God’s Holy Spirit available in (God’s) Church.”
Firstly, I would like to comment on the Archbishop’s statement – it is sheer nonsense. We must ask the question ‘What would Jesus do?’ When faced with any moral decision. We try to answer that question with humility, meekness, poverty in spirit while mourning our sinfulness, and trusting in His saving love that through prayer an answer will be given. An answer will always be given because nothing can separate His people, from His love.
In addition, we can test our response to this question; to what’s in Scripture – over and over again, in the Gospels, Jesus gives us examples of what He would do!
Lastly, the Catholic Church’s tradition of 2000 years is seriously flawed – nothing can justify the Crusades, or the inquisitions, as something ‘Jesus would do’; from Clement (first Pope, after Peter) onwards, who believed in the existence of the Phoenix and he uses the resurrection of this (mythical) bird to support the heresy that Christ’s resurrection is part of the natural order of creation. Clement, is clearly not speaking as someone who has the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. I think the evidence is, that the Catholic Church has ignored the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. (Note: To the Archbishop – the Holy Spirit is God, we don’t need to say, God’s Holy Spirit! – a subtle, semantic difference!)
Now – Jesus, our Lord and our God, said; to the lost, He saved – ‘ …go, and sin no more.’
This means – worship God alone, nothing must come between you and God. No more murder (don’t be angry with anyone), no more adultery (don’t look lustfully at another), do no steal, do no seek to possess anything, which is not yours, do not lie (bear false witness), always honor your mother and father, do not indulge your sinful desires (including homosexuality). Live your life – as a light reflecting the glory of God; be a peacemaker, as long as it does not compromise God’s laws!
Consequently, those who are still living, as slaves to their sinful nature – murderers (those angry with anyone), thieves (those who want what they don’t have); those living in adulterous relationships or habitually give in to sexual lust, [physical or virtual (Internet)], or active homosexuals – MUST, live their lives – after accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins – as holy members of His kingdom. They must demonstrate that they have been re-born as members of God’s kingdom. You cannot continue to live as Satan’s slave AND a member of Christ’s flock – there must be a change in heart – a repentance – a turning away from sin.
Of course, we are all a work in progress – but there MUST be a starting point – from where we accept God’s grace and start to do the good works He has prepared in advance, for us to do.
What are your views?