A popular Missouri Synod Lutheran blogsite Cyberbrethren is run by Rev. Paul T. McCain, the head of Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri. (Actually, he seems to have another blog, also called Cyber-brethren here–all a bit confusing, really…) It is sobering sometimes to see how our brethren and sistern regard us Romanists.
Here’s his take on Deus Caritas Est: “Interesting to read, many good things said, but at the end, the old Marian heresies come gushing forth as its conclusion. Sad to read ….”
Dear O dear O dear… Is it just possible that there is a connection between the so-called “Marian heresies” and the “many good things said” in the Encyclical? Like love, Catholic theology is a unity. If there is a piece that doesn’t seem to fit the jigsaw puzzle, you are trying to make it fit in the wrong place. There are many more pieces to the puzzle than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Pastor Paul. Best read on this subject is Joyce Little’s “The Church and the Culture Wars” (Ignatius Press). Several excellent chapters on how Catholic Mariology fits the Catholic witness to the Gospel in this seriously twisted world. It converted me.
And there is so much in the new encyclical that could engage Lutherans and Catholics in dialogue; such as:
1) the Purification of Reason: can reason be purified? Is natural law sufficient in the political world? Or has reason been irredeemedly wrecked by sin?
2) How does the Lutheran two kingdoms doctrine fit in with the picture that Benedict paints of the separation of Church and State and the Christian’s involvement in politics?
3) What about the assertion that there are three marks to the Church: Word, Sacraments, and the ministry of Charity?
Really, if all the Rev. McCain can see in this document is “the old Marian heresy”, I am seriously disappointed.