Friday, March 04, 2005

Swimming the Tiber

I don't know who R. R. Reno is, but I plan to find out.
His essay in First Things tells of leaving (can we say escaping?) the Episcopal Church to be received into the Roman Catholic Church. He is a layman and writer, teaching theology at Creighton University.
A google search led to yet another blog, ROFTERS. ( more to monitor. This could get tiring.) Here are a couple of snips. Yet another provocative and thoughtful read.

A few days after my reception into the Catholic Church, a colleague at Creighton who knows my attraction to dogmatic hyperbole took particular pleasure in observing, “My, my, you look ontologically different.” Kidding aside, he was certainly right on one level. I have changed. I once tried to forge a vocation of faithfulness as a loyal member of a liberal Protestant denomination. Now I am a member of the Catholic Church. I changed—I made a change. I do not think I changed my mind about theology or ecclesiology or the fate of Christianity in the modern world. I suppose that, in the end, I changed my mind about myself. All the major premises of my argument stayed the same, but the minor premises changed, and with them the conclusion.
The Catholic Church did not deliver me from apostasy and false teaching. I teach at a Jesuit University, so I am not naïve about just how insouciant about orthodoxy priests can be. Nor did Catholicism provide me with a neat, efficient, and trouble-free church. I do read newspapers. What my reception into the Catholic Church provided was deliverance from the temptation to navigate by the compass of a theory. The Catholic Church has countless failures, but of this I am certain: Catholic Christianity does not need to be underwritten by an idea.

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