The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Lutheran or Catholic? Can you tell?

posted by jmcgee

Lutheran.jpgThe gentleman pictured above is — drumroll please — a Lutheran minister. And he’s part of a thriving ministry to Hispanics, many of whom are formerly Catholic.

Details, from The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The Rev. Jhon Freddy Correa pours blessed water over the heads of a squalling toddler and an angelic little girl, gathered with their families on this Sunday at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Racine.

He gently wipes their faces with a cloth and blesses them, saying “Yo te bautizo en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espiritu Santo” – “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

These are the newest members of Emmaus’ Latino ministry, which reflects the growing number of ELCA churches devoted to Latinos.

A Colombian-born former priest in the Old Roman Catholic Church, Correa has been holding weekly services at Emmaus for a year, drawing 150 to 250 worshippers a Sunday in recent months.

“It’s a very vibrant Latino community,” said Correa, whose members are primarily from Mexico. “I’m excited to see the community respond in this way.”Emmaus and a satellite congregation out of Atonement Lutheran Church in Racine are among 41 new congregations approved this year by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Atonement’s impetus was geographic; an effort to reach out to the growing western suburbs of Racine. But most of the new churches, including Emmaus, formed to serve immigrant populations from Latin America, Asia and elsewhere.

They are a reflection of the ELCA’s renewed commitment to reach out to immigrants and to better reflect the often-changing neighborhoods that surround its churches.

[snip] At Emmaus, many of the members are former Roman Catholics and the previously unchurched, drawn by the youthful enthusiasm of the 28-year-old Correa and Emmaus’ emphasis on children and families.

Many members call him “padre” instead of “pastor.” The Sunday service in many ways resembles the Catholic Mass, though some elements such as incense and the presentation of the Eucharist can be found in the Lutheran high liturgy.

“I explain that we are not Roman Catholic, but we cannot deny our Catholic origins,” Correa said. “I tell them that we are catholic in the universal sense.”

The distinction doesn’t appear to bother members.

“I believe in God, not a church,” Manuel Gallardo, one of the congregation’s leaders, said in Spanish through an interpreter.

Check out the rest at the link.



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RomCath

posted August 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm


“I believe in God, not a church,” Manuel Gallardo, one of the congregation’s leaders, said in Spanish through an interpreter.
Well this is sad. A former Old Catholic priest becomes a Lutheran priest and woos away Catholics and they don’t believe in a church, but God. Well we all believe in GOD, dont we? How RC were these people in the first place?



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Eka

posted August 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm


I am fascinated (and a bit confused) by the image of Our Lady of Guadeloupe on his vestment?!



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Larry

posted August 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm


Hi Eka
the Lady of Guadeloupe is a very common saint in many Hispanic communities particularly immigrant communities
You will see her on vehicles, murals pretty much any flat surface



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Katherine

posted August 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm


How RC were these people in the first place?
Probably not very. My own parish is 80% Hispanic, mostly immigrants. Our pastors and lay leaders do a wonderful job evanglizing the Hispanic community, many of whom had a very weak relationship with the Church. We have had hundreds of adult baptisms of Hispanic Americans and hundreds more First Communions and Confirmations. Many of them come from parts of Latin America where the Church has no presence among the poor, only the upper class. If some of the unchurched Hispanics are brought to an active Christian life by the Lutherans, well, good for them.



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RobM

posted August 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm


This is very disturbing. Lutherans do not petition to the Saints or Blessed Mother Mary for prayer, protection or blessing. This pastor is using Our Lady as a way to market, confused and have the latin (Mexican) defect from the Roman Catholic Faith. The community is mostly Mexican which is why he chose Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Mexican people are very devouted to her. It was Her apparition that cause many Mexicans (Indians) to convert to the Catholic Faith and now this pastor is using it in reverse. This is blasphemy!!! We must do/say something. Deacon Kandra, am I wrong?



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Rob the Rev

posted August 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm


The church is bigger than and transends your Roman Catholic sect, thank God!



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Ttarp

posted August 21, 2010 at 7:41 pm


As an FYI, tHe Old Catholic Church is not the Roman Catholic Church.



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Deacon Necessary

posted August 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm


“The church is bigger than and transends your Roman Catholic sect, thank God!”
Well actually, Rob, the “Church” is that which was founded by Christ and entrusted to Peter and the Apostles, which historically speaking, is the Roman Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church is not a “sect.”
“Sects” are those communities and congregations that have broken away from Holy Mother Church over the centuries…



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Katherine

posted August 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm


All who have been baptized are part of the Church, including the Lutherans. In many parts of Latin America, the Catholic Church has failed, however, to deeply evamgelize and pastorally care for those who have been brought to her in baptism.
Our failing as Catholics to give to our Latin American brother and sisters the “Good News” are immense. Evangelization is needed, not harsh words to other who have evangelized where we have failed or simply been unconcerned.
The truth be told, the Catholic Church has not done what it should for the poor of Latin America. We need to do the right thing ourselves rather than tell others not to preach the Good News of Christ.



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LutheranChik

posted August 21, 2010 at 9:00 pm


RobM: Lutherans can’t have an image of the Virgin Mary on a vestment or parament? Really? That would be news to us. We honor and respect the mother of the Lord. I also think you’re not giving Latino immigrants much credit for being able to make informed decisions about their exercise of religious freedom when you insinuate that they’re being intentionally “confused” by this parish; that’s a pretty patronizing statement.
BTW: My parish has excellent relations with the Roman Catholic parish down the road. It’s sad to see combox comments here that want to keep the “wars of religion” going.



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Deacon Necessary

posted August 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm


Katherine is absolutely right on all counts.
For far too long, the Church has been complacent. We have had the attitude that since we have always been here, the people will always come to us.
Now we are seeing that’s not the case. Our Protestant brothers and sisters are actually evangelizing and reaching out to the immigrant, and doing the same in their home countries.
The other churches have been shone to be more welcoming, and as a consequence, Latinos are turning away from their ancestral faith.
But, the Catholic Church is starting to wake up, and in recent years, efforts have been made to evangelize more. I see this here in Texas.



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Klaire

posted August 21, 2010 at 9:53 pm


What is sad Luthern Chick is if these new Latino Lutherns were baptized Catholics, and I suspect most of them were. At least objectively, they are all living in heresy, not to mention being taken away from the Real Presence.
It’s a little different if one has never been a Catholic, and I know there are legit reasons why many Catholics leave the CC to find Jesus in a Protestant Church (always a result of poor catechesis), but it’s still a very serious matter. I trust God will bring all around in His time, and I’m not placing a judgment on that.
I agree with you Rob, that to use Our Lady of Gradulaupe is a bit disturbing. While Catholics don’t have a monopoly on the Mother of God, and it would be wonderful to see all our Protestant brothers and sisters give her reverence, the reality is, to use the Mother of God in a manuipulative way, is very distrubing, especially at the same time, knowing that they are being denied the Real Presence. Now THAT can’t be making Our Lady of Guadulpe very happy and shame on this pastor who knows better.
I think we all need to think of ways to make our Latino brothers and sisters feel more welcome in the Catholic Church.



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Belen

posted August 21, 2010 at 9:57 pm


“I believe in God, not in a church”
Then, why are you in a church???? moreover, why are you in THAT church???? and, considering that the Bible was compiled by A CHURCH – the CATHOLIC church – why do you believe in the canonicity of the books in the Bible??? and, considering that the doctrines you hold were kept and declared as the truth by A CHURCH – the CATHOLIC church – why do you hold them???? you see, you can’t say “I believe in God, not in a church” because the Church, the CATHOLIC church, was founded by Him. And everything you believe in comes from the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ.



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Jack

posted August 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm


Sorry, but the Roman Catholic Church didn’t even exist until after the Council of Nicaea in 325. Why would the apostles call it the Roman Catholic Church when the entire body of believers was in Judea until 70 AD? Moreover, Christ denounced the hierarchy of offices in his Revelation.



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Subdeacon Lazarus

posted August 22, 2010 at 12:23 am


Jack
August 21, 2010 11:04 PM
Sorry, but the Roman Catholic Church didn’t even exist until after the Council of Nicaea in 325. Why would the apostles call it the Roman Catholic Church when the entire body of believers was in Judea until 70 AD? Moreover, Christ denounced the hierarchy of offices in his Revelation.
Jack — the church was born on Pentecost, one church undivided until 1054 when it broke into two parts East (Orthodox) and West (Roman Catholic), and later the Protestants broke off from the Roman Catholic.
The first Ecumenical Council in Nicea, (325) set up the first version of the Nicene Creed and established the apostolic sees of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, If you read any of the pre-Nicene Church Fathers you will see Bishops, Priests, Communion and Baptisms.
Subdeacon Lazarus



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Are you kidding?

posted August 22, 2010 at 6:20 am


You’re all right in some form or fashion, but the vast majority of you miss the point entirely. The “catholic,” “universal” church was never meant to have synods, denominations, bishops, cardinals, executive directors… none of it. Both sides of the fence (Catholic and Protestant) seem to forget that. We (humans) have put those utterly ridiculous pieces in place. And, as evidenced by the majority of the comments posted above, we hold on to those things tighter than we do the Foundation of the church.
God never intended for us to put our own twist onto it.



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God help us!

posted August 22, 2010 at 7:21 am


“The “catholic,” “universal” church was never meant to have synods, denominations, bishops, cardinals, executive directors… none of it.”
Or councils, or saints, or priests or an explanation of the Trinity, or any clarity for that matter, just one nebulous ball of fluff so that we can all be magically happy in our own solipistic worlds…
Please…
Try to distinguish between development and innovation.



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RomCath

posted August 22, 2010 at 8:43 am


“The “catholic,” “universal” church was never meant to have synods, denominations, bishops, cardinals, executive directors… ”
Are you kidding? Are you serious?? Have you ever read the New Testament? I think Bishops and councils are referred to rather frequently. Get a Bible.



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Mr Flapatap

posted August 22, 2010 at 9:26 am


Read the writings of the old fathers, especially St. Ignatius of Antioch for early evidence of a hierarchy.



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Panthera

posted August 22, 2010 at 9:41 am


RomCath is quite correct – 1 Timothy, if I recall, mentions qualification for the office of bishop.
Of course, anybody who is curious as to why I should so support RomCath is highly encouraged to actually read all of 1Timothy….
And that is the problem here. In their zeal to present every Christian who is not a Roman Catholic as one step below a worshiper of the spaghetti monster, several commentators have advocated idolatry (reverence for the Mary? petitioning Saints to intercede with God? Really?). Others have denounced as sects the Orthodox branches of the Catholic church (that super liberal Pope JPII, what was he thinking?
Frankly, any group of people who come together to worship Christ is something to be praised, not condemned. Given the hostility towards Hispanics among such an enormously large number of conservative Christians – as evidenced frequently on beliefnet – I very thankful (to God) that He has a church and a priest who welcomes these Christians instead of treating them like scum.



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Bill Coulter

posted August 22, 2010 at 10:19 am


Good article, but many of the comments are off base. One should neither criticize nor critique the Lutheran or Roman Catholic Church unless one has intimate knowledge of their teachings. I am a Lutheran, every Sunday we recite one of the Christian creeds and we declare that we believe in the “holy catholic church”. Catholic is not capitalized because it refers to the universal Christian church, not the Roman Catholic Church. Lutheranism is NOT our religion. Christianity is our religion, as it is for Roman Catholics, Baptists, and other denominations of the Christian faith. We respect the Pope; he is the most influential Christian in the world. We do not believe that he has access to Devine Providence any more that any other Christian. (We might be wrong, Roman Catholics might have it right.)
Allow the holy spirit to enter your heart. Pick a Christian denomination that helps you to maintain a state of grace. See you in heaven



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RomCath

posted August 22, 2010 at 11:49 am


First, we do not worship Mary so there is no idolatry involved. If anyone were to worship Mary it would be a most serious sin. We honor Mary as the Mother of the Savior, as one blessed among women to have been chosen by God for a pivotal role in the plan of salvation. If any Christian does not recognize her singular role which is worthy of honor, I cannot comprehend that. She carried Christ witin her.
The devotion of Hispanic Catholics, primarily Mexicans, to Our Lady of Guadalupe is well known and most certainly a Catholic devotion. The basilica in Mexico is a Catholic Church. To use her image in a Lutheran Church seems a little more than strange to me.



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Tom

posted August 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm


Frankly, any group of people who come together to worship Christ is something to be praised, not condemned.
Perhaps this statement is oversimplified just a tad (and I truly don’t mean to split hairs here, Panthera). After all, there are some congregations who split off for what normal joes would consider nefarious reasons (think Westboro Baptists). We have to consider people’s perception of the Christ if we want to commend their worship gathering as praiseworthy.
Regarding this Lutheran minister, I’m less inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt than more progressive Christians, though I’m certainly in no position to judge his sincerity of heart.
Happy Sunday Christians everywhere :)



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Thomas Troupe

posted August 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm


My belief is ecumenical. Fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of unity among all Christians! God bless all of you my Christian brothers and sisters! :)



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Panthera

posted August 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm


Tom,
That’s a valid point, indeed. I was trying to speak in the broadest terms so as not to incite another food fight.
In many ways, though, Westboro is not that much of an anomaly. Many Christians see that particular aspect of the culture wars as a line worth defending – it’s far too much work to convince hetero couples not to divorce (and, besides, if they’re good conservative politicians, you just pronounce the marriage annulled and, le poof!, it never existed and the adultery wasn’t adultery.)
Why worry about the log in your eye when you can make someone else’ life a living hell about the mote in their eye?
RomCath,
Honor Mary? Hmm, I think there is a very, very fine line between honoring and elevating to godhood and many of the comments here were over that line.



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Mike L

posted August 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm


I guess some people think Christ was joking when he said “where ever two or more are gathered in my name, I am also there.”
It has always seemed to me that the Church was an end to a means, a way of coming closer to God. Some commenters seem to be saying that they worship the church, not the God that it leads to.



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RomCath

posted August 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm


“Honor Mary? Hmm, I think there is a very, very fine line between honoring and elevating to godhood and many of the comments here were over that line.”
Panthera, I think the correct term is hyperdulia. I think most Catholics know that God alone is to be worshipped. If Mary is “divinized” by some, they are in serious error.
To pay special honor to the one who carried the Incarnate Word in her womb and whose “yes” brought about the Incarnation is hardly elevating her to godhood. If anyone crossed that line, they are in error.
I certainly don’t want to get into a war over Mary. I find it very odd and rather misleading that the Lutheran priest in the photo is using the image of Guadalupe to make points with Hispanics. It is dishonest in my opinion.



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RomCath

posted August 22, 2010 at 7:31 pm


MikeL: “I guess some people think Christ was joking when he said “where ever two or more are gathered in my name, I am also there.”
It has always seemed to me that the Church was an end to a means, a way of coming closer to God.”
When Christ said those words, there was one “church”. He hardly desired the over 30000 Christian denominations that exist today. To put them all on equal level is absurd.
The church is not an end to a means, it is as Paul said the body of Christ.



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RP Burke

posted August 23, 2010 at 10:22 am


Be grateful they’re moving to Lutheranism, and not to crazy evangelical fundamentalists, who are rabidly trying, both here and in Latin America, to convert Catholics to Christianity — their Christianity.



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Rudy

posted August 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm


“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear”
2 Timothy 4:3



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Mike

posted March 25, 2011 at 11:20 am


To those who condemn Lutheran’s for using the Virgin Mary in their churches is just a little hypocritical. There are hundreds of internet sites by Roman Catholic’s emphasizing Martin Luther’s devotion to Mary. Here is one for example:
http://www.chnetwork.org/journals/mary/mary_5.htm
You can’t have it both ways!



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ivjzgsusa

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