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July 26, 2008




Should I email this link to RSC now or wait until he finds it? :)


Oh shoot. I forgot that I ever cared what RSC thought about anything... Sorry.


Was that an update to Trent that I missed?


Guess so...

What would you have done?



We had a similar experience at Spokane's Episcopalian cathedral a few months back. Talk about fish out of water. But, some very serious issues aside, we found much there which is painfully lacking at our local church... (And pretty much every church we've attended.) Like, oh, I don't know, real reverence... Genuine appreciation of the majesty of God... Respect for the act of worship... Engagement on the part of worshipers beyond the collection plate... I could go on, but it's too depressing.


I can read what those words say -- but I also think I know what those words mean.

If the Pope said these words, I'd feel like he was calling me the "sad division." If it was in OUR worship folder it would mean, "Ready to leave Rome now?"

Knowing how Rome views the Eucharist, and aware of what the Protestant creeds say regarding their view -- I don't think I could partake.

I don't know what I would do if I knew I was at a rogue RCC that was more Reformed than Roman...


Do we share a common baptism with Rome, RevK? Do you acknowledge baptisms of the RCC as valid - or do you rebaptize?

Most of our tradition takes their baptism as valid - despite what errors the may attach to baptism.

So if we share a common baptism with them - how do we not also share a common eucharist?




Not too sure who the "we" includes but this is MY tradition vs. theirs (M/t).

Baptism: Trinitarian? Yes/Yes. Membership into the covenant community? Yes/Yes. Regeneration? Not known, but assumed/Yes. Justification? Not by mere administration, but by sign, seal, and faith/Yes.
Verdict: Our baptisms are not the same, but close. [Since the RCC believes in justification by water through priest on account of the Pope, I often do agree with the OPC about re-baptizing! It would sure look like we had more adult converts! At present, I don't. I would re-baptize a former RC if they had strong convictions about having it done right =0)]

Eucharist: Meal of thanksgiving and fellowship? Yes/Yes.* Remembrance of the atoning work of Christ? Yes/Yes.* Means of grace? Yes/Different.* Sign and Seal? Yes/Different.* Feeding by faith? Yes/Feeding on flesh and blood.* Am I a recognized servant of Christ, worthy to administer? Yes/No. Do I have to say a special prayer over the elements to change them? No/Yes. Do I adore and worship the elements at any time? No/Yes. Do I sin if I miss a holy feast day of observance? No/Yes. Can I feed the elements to the birds after the service? Yes (but should show propriety)/No. Can I have a meal just before participating? Recommended by the Apostle Paul. A violation in the RCC!
Verdict: Not much in common, in fact, we are at odds.
* The Reformed confessions universally regard this aspect of the Roman rite as a grave aberration of the faith and a confusion of grace and works. I could refer us all to the more confrontational Reformed declarations on this matter; but a clear, moderately toned, and appropriate understanding of this Sacrament can be found here (I think they are almost here, but Trent just ruins the catholicity): http://www.creeds.net/reformed/helvetic/c21.htm

PS. I can't wait to discuss the other 5 sacraments of the RCC.
PSS. Splash, go on! Go on!


"Not much in common, in fact, we are at odds."

I would like to focus on that a moment... The trouble I have with this kind of perspective is that it really does leave behind the astounding things we do have in common. Namely:

1. We affirm Who God is - the Trinity (huge).
2. We affirm What God is doing - saving the world through Christ (huge).
3. We affirm How God is working - through His Spirit-filled church (huge).

Now, we do have differences on the particulars of #3 if you drill-down. And it may very well be that some folks on both the RCC and Protestant side are so whacked in some particulars that it is fatal.

HOWEVER, to say we "are at odds" when we share SO MUCH in common is indeed a "sad division." RevK, how much more in common do we have with them than run-of-the-mill atheists, Muslims, or Hindus? How much more in common do we have with them than... Aborigines? My goodness, I would say we have a lot.

If we receive their baptism (which most of us do), if we confess the same Lord & Savior, if acknowledge one God over all - then I maintain that we share MUCH in common, despite particular differences in "how" certain things work...

4. We affirm



You wrote:

"I would re-baptize a former RC if they had strong convictions about having it done right =0)]"

I'm with Hodge on this one. NO RE-BAPTISM. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. Sheesh, if I was that hyper-worried about people doing sacraments right (let alone individual Christians "convictions" about them) I'd have to discount 95% of Reformed baptisms because they scream "Nothing going on here, move along!" And they "celebrate" the Eucharist with crackers, grapejuice, long faces and do it as little as possible...once again screaming "Nothing going on here, move along!"

With the OPC on this one? You mean all 28,000 of them in the entire world? Sorry man, I'm gonna dive out as far my Reformed booty can take it into the vast Body of Christ. ;)


Totally, Garrett. Sometimes I think the Reformed position on the sacraments is closer to Rome than the anabaptist / Evangelical position on the sacraments...


Bones, the link affirms what you say, and I agree with your last statement wholeheartedly.

Craw, "One Lord, One faith, One baptism," quoted every time we observe the sacrament of baptism. But distill the RCC understanding of each of these points and we have something different -- again, read Trent on this!

Grace and peace,


Just want to set the record straight, the OPC does NOT require rebaptism of those coming to us from Rome. In fact, our session has refused to re-baptize those seeking it.

Just wanted to set the record straight before this became another assumed internet "fact" taken for granted.

Garrett I do appreciate how you never tire of reminding of us of our diminutive stature.



Not bustin' on you but just about every OPCer I've ever known has filled my hands with OPC "how to" books and told me how great and pure the OPC is. Its just gotten old. Hope you don't hold that against me.



Not holding anything against you, it just seems to be a note you play often when the OPC is brought up or you bring it up yourself on your blog. I know our imperfections, there are many. As a minister in the OP, I often make known where I think she has problems, but then again it's my family. I guess I just dont get why the CRE (or CRE sympathetic) seem to only be able to criticize those Reformed "outside", without much seeming self-reflection (at least not in public).

I mean is the CRE catholic enough to let a non-six day guy in or a non "post-mill or something like it" man? I know you let in Baptists, but what if he was an amil Klinean Baptist, would he get through?

Is the CRE growing so fast because of its amazing outward face and catholicity or from emphasizing certain differences they have with the other reformed denoms (paedocommunion, post-mil, Classical education etc.), or from splinter groups (and some of those coming from faithful and joyful presby churches, but these churches lack the "perfect" distinctives), or from reallignment (from another denom to CRE) or from people moving to the Moscow to be at the spout from whence the glory spills out?

Like I said, I dont normally have of a bone to pick with the CRE, I often defend the CRE men from allegations that are false or overly simplistic (thus false). You can check my track record. I just dont see the same from the CRE end, and the fairly consistent jabs at all things OP or otherwise conservative American presby get a bit tired, especially when coming in the midst of blogs and posts often centered on a desire for further catholicity. Seems somewhat platonic, we like the "ideal" of catholicity as long as its not with "them". And if it cant start at home, among Reformed guys, I just dont see how it can happen at all.

So, I hold no ill against you Garrett but your comment bothered me, 1. because you assumed the truth of the statement about Catholic baptisms (like an OP guy explaining the FV as "they believe justification is faith plus works") and 2. you used as an opprotunity to slight men that I hope you consider brethren.

Finally, we still need to meet up and I look forward to the opprotunity.



Fair enough.

Bill M

On November 14, 1996, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the following guidelines on the reception of communion. These guidelines replace the guidelines approved by the Administrative Committee of the NCCB in November 1986. The guidelines, which are to be included in missalettes and other participation aids published in the United States, seek to remind all those who may attend Catholic liturgies of the present discipline of the Church with regard to the sharing of eucharistic communion.

For Catholics

As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.

For our fellow Christians

We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ's prayer for us "that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21).

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 § 4).
Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 § 3).

For those not receiving Holy Communion
All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.

For non-Christians

We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, "have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders." It is for this reason that Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible for the Catholic Church. However these ecclesial communities, "when they commemorate the Lord's death and resurrection in the Holy Supper ... profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, number 1400)

According to Canon Law 844, members of the Orthodox churches and the Polish National Catholic Churches share a more intimate bond with us, however. They may receive the Eucharist when they ask for it and they are properly disposed.


Thanks for that post!

I'm still a bit confused at the ellipses break in the section related to "ecclesiastical communities." What am I supposed to conclude from that section??


That was not printed in the bulletin I had access to.

I can only conclude that like so many communions - there is a diversity of conviction and practice despite the official confessional position...

Bill M



Though the ecclesial Communities which are separated from us lack the fullness of unity with us flowing from Baptism, and though we believe they have not retained the proper reality of the eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Orders, nevertheless when they commemorate His death and resurrection in the Lord's Supper, they profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and look forward to His coming in glory."


Thanks again Bill.

Seems like we get off track starting at baptism. I suppose this means I should update my previous post on what we share in common in our baptism... Only their priests can do it correctly and with full effect (Yes?)


Thankfully, our common creed "acknowledges one baptism for the remission of sins."

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