Roman Catholic and Episcopal Priesthood can learn from Mormons
Where is my Home Church?
Asking forgiveness from the Roman Catholics
I have decided to leave intact the text from the previous work in this Hub. It stands as a example of how mistakes can be made, and how feeling can be hurt, unnecessarily, when one becomes emotional and angry, and misunderstands why church rules can be so severe and unmovable.
Policies on things like baptism, confirmation and communion are carved in stone in both the Roman Catholic and the Episcopal Church. I am a half way decent historian, having studied from some of the finest historians in the world, two of them being the icon historian, Father John O'Malley, of the Society of Jesus, Highly regarded Professor of History, and Professor Kathleen Flake, A Vanderbilt University Professor of American Religious History, A Mormon, and an excellent historian.
I mention these two professor who have taught me in the pass (and I have had other, actually many excellent teachers of history), because they stand as symbols of excellency, in the sense that they would expect for me to use my knowledge of history to help me understand why mistakes are made in church work, and why I must have a forgiving spirit when approaching the institutions called churches. They would also expect me to look in the mirror and see, and say, where is he who is perfect (surely it is not I). Therefore, forgive them, who hurt you, their errors, and they forgive you, your errors. Wow! This really makes me feel better. To know that I can be forgiven, such as I have forgiven others.
The stuff that I have written below, involves the pain that I experienced, as I failed in trying to recover historical documents that would have helped me to record my life in the Roman Catholic historical past. Those documents were valuable documents that reached back to the 1960's, now they are lost in history, some where in stacks of papers, never to be recovered by me in this life time.
Allow me to say this in great respect to the Roman Catholic Church and to the Episcopal Church.
"Consider the Mormons (that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," how they record and keep track of records. Their "record keeping" methodologies is far superior to all other churches, without exception. Study their ways, these things are available to the public and to all men and women, globally. Pride has no place in the grand scheme of Spirituality and Humanity. This way, a simple person like myself will never again have to suffer the process of trying to find his church records that are hopelessly loss in a massive Universal Church system someplace.
Choosing a title for a serious hub is a difficult thing. The appropriate title for this hub is "Present Day Roman Catholic Church has "lack of knowledge," concerning cultures, in the Priesthood: 2011 and 2012."Then one must define what one means by the word "bigot." One must not place one's self in a role where one becomes a bigot one's self. My definition of a bigot is, "he or she, who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant to those who differ." I do not want readers of this hub to get the impression that I am using the word bigot in a derogatory way. I don't use derogatory remarks, they serve not purpose in the scholarly discourses that I enjoy writing.
It was on December 12th, 2011, when I reported to the associate pastor's office, at the Saint Philip Catholic Church, for a 2:00pm appointment. I was really looking forward to my meeting, to get to know how things were going at a church parish that I used to attend for mass when I was a child. My grade school teacher used to take me to mass with her sometimes, and other times I would attend mass there with my girlfriend's family (all my family members were Baptist).
Another reason that I was looking forward to talking to the associate pastor was to learn more about how the national "evangelizing" campaign was going to impact our parish here in Franklin, Tennessee. I needed to know if the Church was serious about the "invitation," that is, about the "Catholics Come Home," and about really welcoming returners back into the flock.
James Eng, msnbc.com (2011, December 5), had written an article bringing this great Catholics Come Home campaign to our attention. James mentioned how $4 million in network TV ads were going to air across the country from December 16, 2011 to January 8th2012. To me, this sounded like the Church was very serious about getting people to consider coming home. So, once again, I was excited to be sitting face-to-face with a Roman Catholic Priest again to talk about the future of our Church.
The associate pastor asked me all the usual questions. Where do you live? What about your family? What do you do for a living? Where have you been all this time? Where have you been going to church before now? This was a little uncomfortable, but I answered as best as I could. After All, just because I had been away for a long time didn't mean that I was a bad person. But I began to get the idea that this priest was not too happy to be sitting there with me.
In answering all of his questions he found out that I had been abused by the system in the South during segregation, but that was nothing unusual for a 65 year old African American to be revealing. He found out that I went to a little one-roomed school house called Fitzgerald School, out in the country, where a 21 year old Catholic lady named Betsy Smith taught grades one through eight. I finished a segregated high school in Franklin, Tennessee, called Natchez High School, in 1965. I went to Michigan and earned a B.A. degree from Oakland University in Rochester Michigan. From there I went on to Michigan State University (College of Human Medicine), in East Lansing, Michigan, to earn a degree. I did Bone Marrow Transplantation Research, but had to earn another degree (graduated summa cum laude), this time from the George Washington University (College of Medicine). I practiced primary health care, without having to do extra training in primary care because of the great training that one gets at the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. I told him about the Master's degree that I earned in Theological Studies, from Vanderbilt University (The Divinity School).
I told him that doing my travel and doing all the time that I spent healing sick people, teaching, and writing, I was often to busy to go to church or attend masses. I felt shame coming over my face as I admitted that I did not meet his expectations. I wanted to help Saint Philip's start some new programs. Maybe a community garden, for the kids, at my Organic farm here in Franklin, Tennessee. Maybe some powerful education programs to help kids pass some of the tests that the State of Tennessee is riding their backs about. Maybe more counseling so that kids can go to college and help solve the future problems with more doctors, nurses, quality teachers, and etc.
I never once insinuated that I wanted to be paid for the work that I did for Saint Philip Catholic Church and the community. He left me feeling like I was not appreciated or wanted. It was December 12, 2011 when I last saw him. Today it is December 26, 2011, at 12:59am. I am a little disappointed in the Catholic Church.
He, the Associate pastor, said that I would have to present to him my paperwork before I could have communion with the sisters and brothers of St. Philip. He said that I would have to present my baptism record, confirmation records and all the paperwork that is required by the church in order to qualify for communion. I told him that it was at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, in Narragansett Bay, when I feel off the side of the ship (USS Essex (CVS-9)), in January, 1967, and almost died of hypothermia. I got baptized about the aircraft carrier, shortly after that, by a Roman Catholic Priest, they had a chapel on board the ship. I also received my first communion, on board the ship.
He asked me about my marriage certification. I told him that I was married at U.S. Navy Base in Millington, Tennessee, near Memphis, Tennessee. I was married by a Roman Catholic priest in a Catholic Church wedding, on December 21, 1968.
I told him that my records were lost, that I needed help getting them replace. He told me it was up to me to locate them. All the ways and means of locating my records are beyond my experience of obtaining them. I will never be able to get the records. They are not located in any one location in the Catholic Church system. What a pity! What a shame! What a disgrace for a church that is as sophisticated as the Roman Catholic Church. I told a farmer friend about my situation. He said, "It is a dammed shame, that's what it is!"
On my Organic farm there is a House Church, a little chapel, "a place where love grows." There is peace, love and joy, "there." There, people contact me, for prayer, and healings, and hope. There, people come, for fellowship and for food, when they need quality food. There, that is, from there, I am organizing a campaign, that will, one day, help to feed all the world's hungry people. Love grows at Mamushi Nature Farm, and God lives there. Actually, God is everywhere. Stretch out you hand and touch God's face.