|St Lucia Spirituality Group
Newsletter October 2022
In September we held the first of two meetings examining historical influences on our religious beliefs. Our objective is simply to create awareness that many of our beliefs are founded on assumptions and a worldview we cannot accept today in the light of modern knowledge. Thus, we sought to establish this questioning of tradition as a legitimate activity. We are using these two meetings as a prelude to considering the books and videos of Diarmuid O’Murchu who seeks to promote adult faith development.
Kevin Treston writes: “How can the church possibly have renewal expectations for fruitful outcomes from plenary councils and synods unless we have a well informed and spiritually enhanced laity? How will the dream of Pope Francis for a synodal church ever come to fruition if our people are left to flounder in the remnants of a Tridentine church that is slowly passing into history?” (Telling Our Faith Stories, 2022, pg. 140).
We seek to foster interest in continuing adult faith education. However, we hold only monthly meetings and we cannot delve into these matters in detail. We are not a teaching organisation although we have read widely and have a broad grasp of contemporary thinking. Our pre-reading/discussion papers include footnotes and references to facilitate further enquiry for those who wish to follow up.
Ultimately, though, there aren’t any shortcuts, one has to read the books, listen to the podcasts and watch the videos. Reflect and pray. But isn’t that also part of how we grow in faith – rather than being told what to think, what to believe?
What’s Coming Next in the Butterfly Series
At our next Butterfly Series meeting, we continue the theme of historical influences on our faith by examining schisms in Christianity over two millennia. We will outline the major disagreements that led to schisms and highlight the causes as recorded by historians and religious authorities. In addition, we hope to draw some lessons for the Catholic Church today. If these lessons remain unlearned, the mistakes of the past are likely to be repeated. In addition, we pose the question whether schisms at a macro level provide guidance for our personal relationships at an individual level.
The schisms that we will highlight are:
- The debate at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 CE about the teaching of Jesus’ one person in two natures, human and divine. The Oriental orthodox churches (Armenia, Egypt (Copts), Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and parts of Middle East and India) disagreed and separated from the rest of Christianity.
- The frequent disputes between Rome and Constantinople which ultimately led in 1054 CE to the separation of the Eastern Orthodox churches. The disputes were primarily over conflicting claims of jurisdiction and papal authority.
- The Protestant Reformation in the first half of the 16th century, led by Martin Luther in Germany, John Calvin in Switzerland and King Henry VIII in England. Many different factors about church teachings and practices were involved, including indulgences.
From these schisms, we suggest lessons for the Church and for our personal faith journeys in teaching authority, our understanding of “church” and God, and unity with diversity.
We hope you can join us. If you would like a copy of our discussion paper, simply email us. It is also available on our Facebook page. There is no obligation to join our meeting.
Butterfly Series – Next Meeting – Schisms in the Church
Our Episode 13 meeting will be held on Zoom at 6:00pm AEST on Tuesday 25 October. To register your attendance, please email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are concerned about your ability to participate in these zoom meetings, we can accommodate you by simply allowing you to listen. Just let us know.
Or you can simply join our meeting through this link:
Meeting ID: 822 3330 8377 Passcode: 671762
Our Facebook Page & Newsletters
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John Scoble & Robert van Mourik