I don’t understand why some Protestants are not Catholics. Just off New York’s Times Square is the attractive gray-stone church of St. Mary the Virgin. The visitor observes votive candles, Stations of the Cross, even confessionals, and on a plaque outside is listed a schedule of daily and Sunday Masses. St. Mary’s is a Protestant (Episcopal) church.
It’s a bit difficult for a Catholic to understand what keeps high-church Episcopalians from taking that one further step which would bring them back into full communion with the church their fathers left in the mid-sixteenth century. I know that some of these good folks do indeed think of themselves as Catholics already; yet within their church many oppose this view.
I don’t understand either why there is not a closer feeling of brotherhood between “fundamentalist” Protestants and Catholics. It seems to me we have a good bit in common, despite our many differences. We both believe in something outside ourselves, in any case. In contrast to Unitarians and other “modernists,” we both share a faith in many of the ancient tenets—the Divinity, the Heaven and Hell concept, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection—that set Christianity apart from all other religions of earth. A Catholic and a fundamentalist can meet on fairly common ground. But with folks such as the Unitarians, there just isn’t any common ground. Unhappily, the sharpest Protestant-Catholic friction continues to be generated between us and the fundamentalist Christians. Perhaps this is so because we both hold strong objective convictions, which can scarcely be said about the modernists.
Those who have read this far are possibly annoyed with me for my use of “Catholic” rather than “Roman Catholic” to identify myself and my church. ...1
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