To get a discussion started in a small group, I sometimes ask the question “If you won 10 million dollars, what would you do?”. I like the question because it always generates discussion, and it is useful because we all know we will not ever win millions of dollars.
My pondering about becoming Roman Catholic is similar, “What would it take for me to go to Rome?” I do not expect my issues with Rome to be resolved in my lifetime, but a minuscule hope is ever present.
So, for my issues, there are mainly two.
- Primacy of the Roman Bishop. After over 1000 years, I still share the concerns of the Eastern church that although I am willing to give honor to the Roman bishop, I am not willing to give him primacy. I believe a history of the primacy of the Roman bishop has led to a series of abuses in the church that I do not see being resolved in my lifetime.
- The distinction between grave sin and other sins. My whole understanding of the Christian faith is based on the belief that all sin separates us from communion with the Triune God. The Roman Catholic separation between grave and other sins has given the local priest the authority and responsibility of denying communion. This has led many to being denied communion for remarrying. It also has led to such abuses as local priests being pressured to deny communion to politicians based on their votes. The separation between grave and other sins creates a legalistic theology that is contrary to my belief in God’s grace.