Offering apologies is a highly regarded habit even in secular circles. We are surrounded by words of apology everywhere; as customers on the metro, on trains, and on TV. But in the midst of all the rhetoric of apology are there ways to discern the truthfulness of it all? Parents quickly learn to assess their children’s apologies. To say “I am sorry” is not in and of itself a true apology. One needs to show a sense of guilt, of being aware of what he is asking apology for and doing something about what went wrong. Pope Francis’ words of apology to Italian Pentecostals were considered the high point of his visit to his pastor friend Giovanni Traettino (July 28th). They referred to the nasty discriminations that Pentecostals had to suffer under the Fascist regime in the Thirties when they were deemed a threat to the stability of the social order and severely ostracized.
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I wrote you earlier this year as I was struggling with my decision to leave the RC church even though my husband is devout. You wrote me back immediately and gave me good advice. You also asked that I keep you informed.
I spoke to the priest as you suggested, as well as the pastoral assistant, a longtime friend. Both said essentially the same thing, “If that’s what you believe, you are not Catholic.” The priest also jokingly said that I was just a little crazy and would get over it. I didn’t
I began attending a Bible study last year and love it. I am now attending the church which sponsors it. It is a PCA church and very evangelical.
Before I made the change, I talked at length with my husband about the change. He just finished a Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola of NO and has been commissioned by the Bishop as a Lay Ecclesial Minister. In the fall he will take over the RCIA program and invited me to be a part of the team. I prayed about it and had to say no, as I felt that I could not deny my beliefs and did not want to cause problems with the program there if an issue arose which I could not endorse. I also talked with the pastor of the PCA church and his wife. The pastor feels that since my husband does not object to my going to the church, it would not be a submission issue for me to do so.
Now there is a new associate pastor at the RC church who “preaches the Gospel” according to my husband. I asked what he meant by that, and he says that he mentions salvation and Jesus (the last two priests have given “talks” not related to the readings. Now he wants me to come back to the church and hear the new priest.
I have offered to go with him to 9 am mass if he comes with me to the PCA church at 10:50. LONG morning. We will try it and see how it works out.
The BEST news is that my husband has become a huge follower of Tim Keller. He heard some of the sermons I was listening to and has ordered sets of studies on Acts and Job along with others. We listen to these together and discuss them. We hear very different things. I am a retired language and music teacher while my husband is a physics professor.
At any rate, the issue is still unsettled to an extent, but I am so glad to be back in a church with Gospel messages, a love for the Bible, and the wonderful hymns of the faith! I am trying NOT to “be the Holy Spirit” to my husband. I believe that as he hears the Word preached God will touch his heart.
May God continue to bless your work in His name.
Thanks Barbara for keeping me in the loop. I am happy to hear that you had a positive meeting. I think that you and your husband are going to learn and grow from this experience. It will have bumps along the way, but it sounds like your joint commitment to Christ and one another is firm. Praise God. Here are a couple of additional suggestions. Perhaps you could listen to or read a segment from Father Robert Barron (his ministry is called Word on Fire) once a week and your husband can do the same from Tim Keller and then have a date night in which you discuss what each of you learned. Also, as you are attending each other’s churches, each of you might journal your experiences… what you like and what makes you feel uncomfortable and then discuss this with one another. God bless the two of you. Please keep me posted. -Chris
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