Universal church vs. local church


#1

I’ve been reading this book by Tony Coffey, a former Roman Catholic. He is very gentle with his criticisms and story of why he left the faith, unlike some things I’ve read. One of the themes he discusses is the idea of a universal church vs. local churches and what the kingdom of God really was.
First, he quotes Matt. 20:25-26 about the ambitious mother of the two sons, and how the gentiles lord it over the people, but it is not to be that way with you. He says the RC church is the wrong model, b/c there is so much clergy/laity separation. The Bible speaks of male and female priests and no separation.
Second, he talks about institutional, top-heavy religion in his discourse on Lk. 5:37-38 and says you can’t put new wine in the old wineskins.

Any one care to respond to Tony? It’s hard for me b/c this is what I’ve been taught all my life.

oneseeker


#2

I would really like to see the bible citations on female priesthood, because I have never seen it before and I am a pretty fair bible scholar.

Tony whosis is like any other whosis who rejects the authority given to the Catholic Church by Christ and instead relies upon his own authority. Dangerous road to follow if you believe what Jesus actually did say (not what you wish he had said).


#3

First, he quotes Matt. 20:25-26 about the ambitious mother of the two sons, and how the gentiles lord it over the people, but it is not to be that way with you.

Coffey would be relieved to find out that the Church puts its “Marian dimension” over its “Petrine” dimension. In other words, the hierarchical structure of the Church is not there to “lord it over the Gentiles”, but to be in service of the sanctification of the sons and daughters of God that the Bride of Christ calls her own.

He says the RC church is the wrong model, b/c there is so much clergy/laity separation. The Bible speaks of male and female priests and no separation.

Based on how priests were conceived in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New, we can expect to see a distinction between priests and lay people in the same way that we see a distinction between a father and his children. To be a priest was (Cf. Judges 17:10, 18:19), and is, to be a father. A father is not his children and vice versa. Thus, it’s not difficult to see why there would be a distinction between the two.

Lay people, both men and women, participate in Christ’s priesthood by “(consecrating) the world itself to God” (Cf. Lumen Gentium 34). Yet the ministerial priests who serve the lay priesthood are distinct from the latter in the sense that we’ve discussed earlier-- there is a difference between a father and his children.

Yet there is another reason: a priest stands in relation to the Church as a living icon of Christ the Bridegroom who gives of himself totally to his Bride the Church.

When we see Christ, the **Son **of God, we see the Father, and so by imaging his Father, Christ becomes a **father **to his children-- the sons and daughters of God that are born from above within the Bride to whom Christ relates as Spouse.

Thus, the fatherly role of the priesthood is tied up with its spousal dimension. And this spousal dimension is rooted in the sonship of Christ.

It shouldn’t be difficult to see now why only men can be ministerial priests.

Second, he talks about institutional, top-heavy religion in his discourse on Lk. 5:37-38 and says you can’t put new wine in the old wineskins.

As we’ve clarified earlier, since this institution of the hierarchy is an institution for service, the Catholic model is actually the reverse of the “institutional, top-heavy religion” that Coffey describes.


#4

Hello,

Wow! I can’t believe you missed it. It is covered in Genesis when they talk about the pagan rituals with the pagan priests and priestesses. And those stubborn Israelites were the only discriminators - they were the only ancient religion that excluded women from the priesthood. How thoughtless of them. :rolleyes:


#5

First, I have not read Coffey’s book. But, I would be interested in knowing his explanation–or anyone else’s who espouses a similar sentiment–of how the local church somehow trumps the universal church.

The Church has always had local and universal dimensions in a visible sense such that I am always intrigued by the dominant local church camp especially in light of the letters of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. James, and St. John. I have asked this question before when the subject of the early church model of dominant local church is raised, but I have NEVER heard a reasonable defense. Generally the defense is “it’s in the Bible.” My question: where?


#6

I read one of Tony Coffey’s books when I was wandering from the Church and trying to find my place. I must say that his arguments were so weak, I’m surprised they even publish them. I am happy to say, it nudged me more towards the faith because his reasoning was so poor I thought I had better take a second look at things.

I feel for this simplistic man. I think he goes mainly by emotion. Well, we’ll just have to keep him in our prayers. Who knows, someday we’ll be seeing him on the Journey Home program.


#7

I read one of Tony Coffey’s books when I was wandering from the Church and trying to find my place. I must say that his arguments were so weak, I’m surprised they even publish them. I am happy to say, it nudged me more towards the faith because his reasoning was so poor I thought I had better take a second look at things.

I feel for this simplistic man. I think he goes mainly by emotion. Well, we’ll just have to keep him in our prayers. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be seeing him on the Journey Home program.


#8

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