Skip to comments.METHODIST CHURCH DISPLAYS VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE
Posted on 12/12/2004 3:26:17 PM PST by NYer
The Chicago Tribune reports that when some members of Amor de Dios United Methodist Church in an area called Little Village elected to move a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe into the sanctuary last year, "the icon spawned an exodus."
Turned off by the introduction of a Roman Catholic tradition to a Protestant congregation, most of the church's 15 founding parishioners drifted away. To them, venerating the Virgin Mary and reciting the rosary did not belong in a Methodist church.
But this is part of a trend nationwide: mainline Protestant churches and even some evangelical ones (in places like California, with a strong Mexican populace) are accepting the veneration of statues, which for decades has been misinterpreted as idolatry. Pastors of other Hispanic Methodist congregations objected too. Meanwhile, and curiously,
Roman Catholics in the neighborhood fret that the church might be selling itself as something it was not.
"Rev. Jose Landaverde allowed the statue to stay," reports the newspaper. "He says he sees no harm in embracing a tradition--the Virgin is an unofficial national symbol of Mexico--that might bring people closer to God. 'It's coming from the people, which is the real presence of the Holy Spirit,' said Landaverde, 31, a student pastor from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. 'You cannot bring theological debates to the people when they need spiritual assistance.'"
The Tribune reports that this month, parishioners celebrated their first novena in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe by parading the two-foot-high statue around the neighborhood, singing songs and reciting the rosary. "About two dozen parishioners weathered the chill each night to deliver the statue to a different living room, where it was surrounded by garland, twinkling lights, roses and poinsettias. On Sunday, parishioners will commence the traditional Feast Day for the Virgin of Guadalupe and, through prayers, mariachi music, drama and dancing, pay homage. 'The Virgin understands our suffering and she accompanies us everywhere we go,' said church member Oscar Hernandez, who grew up Roman Catholic in El Salvador but now considers himself a Methodist. 'We don't want to take away the faith that this community has, but we want to nourish it.'"
The parish council discerned that something was missing--the Virgin of Guadalupe.
"Since I was little, it's always been right to have the Virgin Mary in the church," said Olivia Serrato, 40, one of the original parishioners who decided to stay after the Virgin was introduced. "It's now a great honor to bring the Virgin Mary to my Methodist church. Before I didn't feel complete."
On December 9, 1531, Mary appeared on a hill just outside Mexico City in Mexico to Juan Diego. She asked that a shrine be built there.
Juan told the bishop and the bishop asked for a sign that it was really Mary that asked for the shrine to be built.
Juan returned to Mary and told her of the bishop's request. Mary told Juan to gather roses from the hill and take them to the bishop as his sign.
It was December and not time for the roses to bloom but Juan found many beautiful roses. He began gathering them up and put them in his tilma (A covering over clothes).
He carried them back to the bishop. He explained what Mary had said to him and presented the bishop with the sign he had asked for. As he unfolded his tilma, the roses fell to the floor. As the roses fell, there on his tilma, was an image of Mary, the Mother of God.
The chapel was built in 1535.
Many people feel this is what Mary really looks like since she put this image on the tilma. Notice underneath, holding Mary, is St. Michael the archangel.
Still involves rosaries, and Moslems worship those things. Not likely you'll get many regular Protestants to cross that bridge.
Bush v. Gore was decided on 12/12 the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Curious coincidence :-)
The Wesley brothers (or as my husband's family calls them, "Chuck and Jack" ;-) ) were Anglican ministers in England in the eighteenth century. You cannot imagine a church that had more thoroughly rejected Catholicism than the Anglican church at that time. The Oxford Movement (which gave rise to the Anglo-Catholic tradition) was not to occur for almost another century. Mothers scared children with tales of Jesuits (see Charles Kingsley's Westward Ho! for details.)
The Wesley brothers never intended to start a new church - their movement was referred to as "Enthusiasm" before it became a separate church. They sought to bring new life into what they perceived as a hidebound, fossilized Anglican tradition, but the conflicts and the class warfare between the Enthusiasts and the regular Anglicans resulted in a split. But they never even THOUGHT about any Catholic traditions - that was light years off their radar screens.
For Methodists to be doing this is very strange though. I think it's clear from the quotes that a number of this congregation are cradle Catholics who seem to be having second thoughts.
Methodism is quite close to the Catholicism from whence it came, but this is one of the reasons they left to form their own church to begin with, and it will not sit well for very long.
The Methodist churches were not an offshoot of the RC church, but rather of the Church of England, quite a few years (I'm thinking a century, but my dates on that are fuzzy) after the CoE succeeded from the CoR.
Still, this is bizzarre, and I hope somebody in the Methodist Church is looking into it.
Now Catholic mothers scare their children with present day tales of the 'Sandino' Jesuits. Although, I understand Sandino wasn't a half-bad chap.
Bump, and beautiful picture, as usual.
I have attended Catholic mass and find myself quite comfortable, except for the differences in rituals and the elevation of Mary rather than Jesus.
If fact, in the Methodist ritual, the "Holy Catholic Church' is given a lot of praise.
It was my opinion that the Methodist's do have a Wesleyan branch that I frankly am not at all familiar with.
But really, I see only these aforementioned differences between what I experience in todays UMC and todays Catholic Mass. At least the ones I have attended.
All of those things make them marginally Protestant.
Yes, I understand all that, but I was referencing more the roots of all of of it in the catholic church on this side of church evolution.
Personally, I am more of a Deist, and I do not accept the teachings of just one religion. I look for knowledge in all of them, or more specifically, I may reject some or all of some of them.
I suppose I am a bit weird regarding my allegiances, or lack of them.
I thought perhaps it was not a good thing and tried like heck to find a religion I was comfortable with, but to no avail.
I think they all have good and bad, and I think they all have something positive to give to their membership and the community.
I suppose that gives me a different perspective of differences between them and it is unaffected by and past history.
My Grandparents were Orthodox Roman Catholics, My Mother was a Southern Baptist, my father a excommunicated Catholic and I was raised Methodist. :-)
Despite the radicalism of early Protestantism with regard to many ancient Catholic "distinctives," such as the Communion of the Saints, Penance, Purgatory, Infused Justification, the Papacy, the priesthood, sacramental marriage, etc., it may surprise many to discover that Martin Luther was rather conservative in some of his doctrinal views, such as on baptismal regeneration, the Eucharist, and particularly the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Really? How do you suppose they will address this with the Mexican 'converts', the majority of which come from a Catholic background and hold great devotion to Our Lady of Guadeloupe, as well as St. Juan Diego.
Perhaps you underestimate the power of Christ's mother who draws believers towards her Son. That IS her mission. She is not a goddess. Rather, she is the mother of God Incarnate, blessed by His name! Our mother, because her Son entrusted her to you and me.
President Bush is a Methodist. However, even he has a picture of the Blessed Mother in his private quarters.
I know. Plus Jeb and Columba went on a road trip during Bush v. Gore. Care to guess where :-)
I'm game ... the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Mexico?
An Icon of the Theotokos, no less; not merely a picture!