Friday, October 26, 2012
I Hate This Stuff
The parents of a 7-year-old boy with Down's syndrome say their son has been discriminated against by the Roman Catholic Church after he was denied taking his first Holy Communion and confirmation.
Clare and Darren Ellarby, of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, U.K., have been left outraged after learning that their son Denum was denied because St. Mary's Catholic Church suggested the boy has "limited concentration," according to BBC news.
The Leeds Diocese Vicar General, Michael McQuinn, denied the boy has been banned and suggested that Denum simply does not understand the church's faith and is welcome to take part in his first communion when he does.Is our participation in the Body of Christ defined by OUR understanding? I am not sure even the most blatant of Armenians would really contend that when it is put that baldly.
But I do not want to turn this into into a theology debate - there are a couple of other things more worthy of note. For one this represents a very limited view of what it means to be a part of the church - it is more than merely conceding to a set of ideas and principles. The Catholic Church with its high view of sacrament should understand that better than most.
But more, isn't the judgement of who is and who is not in the church really up to God? Therefore if it is important to the boy and his family, does not grace demand the boy's inclusion? God can sort the rest of it out later. Now I also know that Catholics take statement like that much more seriously than we Protestants do, but regardless our faith is ultimately in God, not ourselves.
Things like Down Syndrome are undoubtedly resultant from our sin. Are we really willing to let those so inflicted suffer for our sin?
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