Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Catholic Worker Movement: I Just Gotta Love These Folks

Years ago, I came into contact with Catholic Workers in California at various 'peace and justice' events. I found them a remarkable bunch and came to truly respect the group and the dedicated individuals I came in frequent contact with. These folks walk their talk.

This statement
, the introductory paragraph cited below, was released today by the Catholic Workers:

The Catholic Worker Movement in the United States has called on the country's bishops to denounce the American-led war on terror while urging the Church and American citizens to repent for "our affronts to God" fed by violence and materialism.
When working in coalition with the Catholic Workers, it made NO difference that we may disagree in particulars on important subjects like abortion, family planning, stem cell research, women's role in clergy and church leadership, not to mention lgbt issues. The more important and relevant issue at hand was always the 'commonality' of our beliefs on human condition, in the life and context of our work together: Our "mission".

Just like the Anglican Communion, with it's glorious broad tent, we in the non-Lambeth world exist in relaxed tension. Working inter-denominationally requires tolerance and focus on common goals versus focus on separating ideas and theology. It requires and demands respect for everyone in similarity and difference, in solidarity.

In my previous work with Catholic Workers, we (the collective we) prayed together, worked together and celebrated together. We are the lay people in our churches and in some cases the singletons in belief and the non believer, as well. I was, in fact, an atheist at the time. It made no difference though I suspect I received many anon prayers.

If lay people can work so well inter-denominationally, it puzzles me as to why those within our broad Anglican Communion cannot.

True, we Anglican types do have a few things we must agree upon. But scriptural inerrancy isn't one of those, and agreement on literalism isn't either. We have a tradition of the three-legged stool: scripture, tradition and reason. Cut off one leg, and we are nothing more than a tilted, off balance guffaw.

Until recently, via GAFCON/FOCA--the group of alleged schematics that have now decided not to leave after all--even the Thirty Nine Articles haven't been stuck under nose for approval. And, I believe, for good reason. Many of us couldn't adhere to them now, hundreds of years later in a world where geography and politics change like underwear in some decades, or even in some years.

Anglians can do better. We can do what we have done for centuries: Live together in difference, in prayer.

...From my keyboard to the ears of those in Lambeth.

Please pray for our Communion.