- Sunday, 30 October 2011 14:31
From the point of view of truth, Ed Stannard’s article in today’s New Haven Register, “New Haven Church to Fill Spiritual Void” is a bit misleading when he fails to distinguish between the Church –meaning the Catholic Church– and the various ecclesial communities such as the Protestant types. He reduces the truth of being one, holy, catholic and apostolic, i.e., being authentically Catholic– to being opportunistic. No doubt there are opportunities for evangelization that the Catholics are unable to engage in now, but the presence of the Catholic remains solidly in New Haven and can never be replaced by a denomination, which the Catholics are not.
One should note, there is no one-to-one correspondence. One church community is not as good as another. They do not believe the same things (dogma and doctrine, the nature of the priesthood, Eucharist and apostolic authority) even though there are some superficial things that are the same (some liturgical practices). Hence, Catholicism is not on par –theologically or liturgically or justice-wise– with the Episcopal Church. And, the Rev. Robert Hendrickson knows this theology and ecclesiology well. What he is doing is poaching Catholics from the truth in a period when the Archdiocese of Hartford has been unable to assign young, vibrant priests and pastoral ministers to the area and frame their work as a call and mission from God and the Church.
While it is true that the Archdiocese of Hartford has not responded as best as it could to the religious needs of the people in the Hill section of town, the Catholic Church is still very present in this area of the city with the fact of Saint Anthony’s Church and the Catholic Worker House and with the people present.
Clearly, the new evangelization proposed by Benedict XVI needs to be enacted today.