Tuesday, April 2, 2013
~~ POPE ~~ MAN ~~SYMBOL
I also viewed some of the pomp and circumstance on television with the new Pope being introduced to the Catholic community and christian followers. Hundreds of thousands attended the announcement and millions from all over the world watched on television. As I was viewing the event I could not help wonder how many of the crowd really knew this man and were willing to support and follow his Spiritual guidance. After all, ~~ the only people who really knew this man were the Cardinals who elected him as Pope and the parishioners at his church.
It occurred to me that humanity in general likes to be part of a crowd and have something to cheer about, regardless of what it is people are cheering about. They feel like they belong somewhere and feel valued.
Sometimes dogmatic ceremonies in church get in the way of spiritualism. I should know, I was baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church and was a priest in the Orthodox church which is even more dogmatic than the Roman church. This is also because Orthodoxy is is the oldest form of Christianity in the manner the liturgies and sacraments which are performed as they were in the beginning of Christianity. It predates Roman Catholicism by 100 years plus. The Roman and Greek Orthodox churches were united until the Great Schism in the 11th century when the Pope of Rome separated from the Pope of Constantinople (Today's Istanbul). The separation was based on dogmatic issues such as Priests being allowed to get married in the Greek church and not in the Roman church. The interpretation of the Holy Trinity (The spirit, God and Jesus) Thus the holy sacrament of communion was viewed differently, dogmatically speaking. The Pope of Rome proclaimed himself as infallible. In other words is not capable of error ~~ in plain words.
Ceremonies in the Greek Orthodox church are very long that includes Weddings, Baptisms, Funerals and so on. Each ceremony can last over an hour with all the pomp and circumstance.
I have given you a little Ecclesiastical history as a basis of my experience and feeling about dogma vs. spirituality.
It is my impression that there are people who use the church as a crutch. Believing that if he follows a set of rules and regulations he will be "saved" or ~~ justified in doing actions that may be harmful to his fellow human or any form of life on the planet. Why you ask? ~~ he can go to confession and be absolved of all his sins and actions. Then repeat his actions all over again and return to the confessional for another absolution. Going to church every Sunday gives him more "badges of honor".
In my spirituality, "church" can be experienced not only every day, but every minute of every day. It is my life blood.
As the "Fiddler on the roof" would say ~~ TRADITION! !~~ Yes, humans love to follow tradition as do animals follow a routine in life. We may call it a ritual. They feel secure in repetition.
I believe the Pope is a man with all the human frailties contrary to what the Roman church says. The Pope is not a deity, nor is he Jesus. He is not infallible. I do believe he is an important symbol to the church. He represent the collagen of the Catholic church as do the Archbishops of the Greek Orthodox church.
Set aside the dogmatic differences between the two churches they both share in the responsibility to uphold tradition handed down by the Apostles of the New Testament.
Having said all of the above, I do not condemn structured religions. They do good for their followers. They offer a conduit to communicate with the Great Creator. My position is from personal experience ~~ which is very credible ~~ that Spirituality can be compromised by focusing on dogma and traditions rather than on the Creator inside all of us. I have said this before: ~~ Mother Earth is my church and all of her life are the parishioners.
Regardless of your religiosity may we pray and meditate for world peace and unity. May we not harm anyone or anything within the golden rule that binds all religions.
Love and Peace!