Identify the heresy


Thank you father!

If anyone is interested, this is the particular anathema in question:

  1. If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh, let him be anathema .

As Father said, it seems it’s the denial of Mary as Mother of God that is the problem. Not just the title of Mother of Christ.

Hopefully we can get back on topic now!

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Yes, I know it’s my issue… I can’t stand his music and I’m bothered that he’s a featured artist by some hymnals (I didn’t like his music before I knew about his past - it’s too campy, folksy & too 1960s/1970s for me). I can’t stand more folk rock music and that’s what most of the modern Church music seems like to me.

However, now that I know his past, I really don’t like it. I simply don’t think an ex-priest who is publicly known as an active homosexual and living with his partner should take such center stage. I would say the same thing if it was an ex-priest who got married to a woman.

The Church does not let ex-priests do anything in a parish, other than sit in a pew. They may not act a lectors, EMHC, cantors, servers, etc. To me, Schutte is getting by on a technicality, and it bothers me.

YES - I know it’s my problem, but I know there are others who feel the same way.

God bless



The title “Mother of Christ” is perfectly orthodox. There is a least one parish with that name, and at least one other called “Mater Christi”.



I’d really like it if we could have one thread where homosexuality isn’t involved. Music is not homosexual unless it’s got lyrics about being homosexual. If you’re going to start rejecting church music based on the sexual behavior of the composer, Mozart and a lot of other composers are out the door too.

There’s absolutely no reason for you to even be bringing that into this thread.



… so as Father said, and as the anathema reads, the issue is with denying Mary as the Mother of God as opposed to there being an issue with Mary’s title of “Mother of Christ”.

Hopefully we can get back on topic now…



Exactly. There is no issue with the title.



“How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed”?

Does grace appear as a result of our personal belief?



Catholic interpretation: Once I was given the gift of faith, the grace of God seemed ever more precious to me.



I do think we need to be cautious taking hymns that were written expressing Protestant theology and trying to read the words in a different way in order to justify using them.

Is there not a danger that those singing them might interpret them in the way they were originally meant to be interpreted by the author of the hymn?



I never thought of it like that. I thought that when we first believed, grace seemed (“appeared”) precious to us.



To be honest, I think the writer did mean that faith helped him appreciate grace.

The phrase Catholics usually object to is the line “that saved a wretch like me” which is very Calvinistic. I think Catholics often change that line. (some change it to “that saved and set me free”)

All of Protestant theology is not heretical. There is quite a bit of commonality between Protestant and Catholic theology even as there are serious glaring differences.

Being cautious is good. But I don’t see any value in an uncritical aversion to ALL Protestant hymns.



Remember that many parishes include “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”,which was written by Luther, in their repertoire. Not that it hasn’t met controversy among Catholics.



We do that all the time with the psalms; they can be read from both a Jewish and a Christian/christological point of view.

Take for instance psalm 21(22). Read by someone of the Jewish faith, it will have a very different meaning than read in a christological context. In the former, it is read as an individual’s lament. In the latter, it mirrors Christ’s lament in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Similar an original Protestant meaning can be further developed with a Catholic Christian understanding. Judaism has particular ways of reading scripture that takes a face-value account and drills down for deeper and fuller interpretation of the text (Midrash).

The Protestant understanding or idea can thus be seen as a glimpse of the Truth, with the Catholic understanding a fuller representation of it.

That said, I’m willing to bet that the average person in the pew does not overthink it like we do here. We are, after all, encouraged by Christ himself to approach Him with a child-like faith.






**I deleted the first part of the post as a better response was given above.

That is what the line in the song says. Amazing Grace should not be condemned based on changing the words and making assumptions. The priests I know that like the song are literate in English and can read without slipping implications in.

This is a really good point. However, words that might be taken the wrong way, even if they are literal correct may be fine, or not, depending on the location. If a priest has taught properly, then the chance for misunderstanding does not increase because of some song lyric. Taking the case of the hymn in question, my own priest has taught the divinity of Christ, and the title Mother Mary of God, and the history of the Council of Ephesus, many times, probably 2-3 times a year it is mentioned.



But you really don’t know his past.

You’ve read something, and if you try to trace it to the source, you’ll probably find (as I did) that one blogger quotes another blogger who quoted another blogger, and the story changes along the way.

Somewhere up the chain, you find a blogger who quoted an obituary – and do we know that quotation is authentic? – that says he had a “partner” named Mike. How do you know Mike is a man and not a woman? Do you know anything at all about that partnership? As in the party game Telephone, “partner” becomes “gay” becomes “active homosexual” becomes “married,” and who really knows the truth? Not you or me. Maybe only one or two people in the whole world really know. And Jesus knows.

It’s nothing but gossip, rash judgement, detraction, calumny, or some combination of those. No good comes of it.



This is the first I’ve heard about Dan Schutte’s personal life and if it were true that he is publically living against Church teaching then I’d share your concerns. So, I looked it up and the first references I found were in Church Militant. Then I found another from a liberal source - which referenced CM, and which sided with Schutte.

My reading of it is he is not “publically” in a homosexual relationship (if at all), but rather CM has outed him. That should make quite a difference.

If we were to expunge all church musicians with questionable private lives we’d lose many of them. For starters, Hayden had a mistress yet his music is played in cathedrals.



OK, I will give you that. Your are correct.

But the fact is, he’s still an EX-PRIEST. I don’t care if he’s single, gay, straight, etc; ex-priests are not allowed to engage in any sort of ministry. They can’t be lectors, they can’t be cantors, they can’t be EMCHs, etc. Are they even allowed to be in the choir?

Point is, Schutte has found a loophole that not only is allowing him to take part in a very public Catholic Ministry, indirectly do that across parishes all over the United States, if not the English speaking world.

I know this might seem harsh, but an ex-priest should be not be a famous Catholic liturgical musician.

God Bless.

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That is a good point, but there is a major difference, the Psalms are Sacred Scripture, Protestant hymns are not.

We can clearly argue that Jews have an incomplete understanding of the meanings of various psalms, but the same cannot be said for Protestant interpretation of hymns written by Protestants with Protestant theology. On the other hand Protestants could argue that we are misinterpreting Protestant hymns.



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