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!
That's what I have heard from pretty respectable sources.
Fine, if you have that sort of thing in your charter, The UMC only recognizes Mary for what she is,the Mother of Jesus, and not a Holy icon to worship. The Methodists do not worship Icons.(which is why I do not belong to the Catholic Church)
The Mexicans will eventually find that their church will no longer be called UMC, (perhaps another offshoot of which there are many independent offshoot churches) but this matter will take some time to be solved. They are very slow to do these sorts of things and the organization is very decentralized.
I don't mean to make light of your post, but the fact is, that this violates the few things that separate the UMC from the Catholic Church and I do not blame the members for bugging out.
I would as well. I don't worship Icons either. Don't plan to start for any reason.
The Catholic Church does not operate under a 'charter'. It was commissioned by Christ, Himself.
Mary is not an icon. She is the mother of God ... would you disagree with this?
All devotions to Mary and the saints ultimately glorify their Creator, who made them what they are. Could we possibly praise the Mona Lisa without praising Leonardo DaVinci? That masterpiece certainly did not paint itself! Even so, Mary is God's great masterpiece, and all praise given to her is praise of Her Maker.
When Elizabeth praises Mary, saying "Blessed art thou amongst women", Mary immediately replies "My soul doth magnify the Lord..." (Luke 1:42; 46). All the devotion which we offer her redounds to God's praise and glory.
An inscription at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, dating back to 200 A.D., says "Hail Mary!". This is very early evidence of prayer to Mary.
The Sub Tuum Praesidium is another early prayer to her:
We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God.The Hail Mary also originated early on, since most of it comes from the Bible. This later became one of the prayers of the Rosary, along with the Our Father, Glory be and Apostle's Creed, all of Biblical or early Christian origin.
Despise not our petitions in our necessities,
But deliver us from all dangers,
O ever-glorious and Blessed Virgin! (circa 300 A.D.)
So Marian devotions clearly trace back to the early Church.
"The UMC only recognizes Mary for what she is,the Mother of Jesus, and not a Holy icon to worship. The Methodists do not worship Icons.(which is why I do not belong to the Catholic Church)"
Where in heaven's name did you get the idea that Romans "worship" icons? The 7th Ecumenical Council, held at Nicea in 787 held as follows:
"We define that the holy icons, whether in color, mosaic, or some other material, should be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on the sacred vessels and liturgical vestments, on the walls, furnishings, and in houses and along the roads, namely the icons of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, that of our Lady the Theotokos, those of the venerable angels and those of all saintly people. Whenever these representations are contemplated, they will cause those who look at them to commemorate and love their prototype. We define also that they should be kissed and that they are an object of veneration and honor (timitiki proskynisis), but not of real worship (latreia), which is reserved for Him Who is the subject of our faith and is proper for the divine nature."
787; a bit before the Methodist Church showed up. As a matter of fact, Iconoclasm, which is to say the rejection and destruction of icons is a grave heresy.
Dear Cold Heat,
"I don't worship Icons either."
That's great! As a Catholic, neither do I.
But I do venerate the saints, even when depicted in icons, and ask them to pray for me.
Worship, however, is reserved to God alone.
"Could we possibly praise the Mona Lisa without praising Leonardo DaVinci?"
That is a truly beautiful analogy.
It truly captures the meaning of the veneration of the saints, especially of the Theotokos.
wor·ship ( P ) Pronunciation Key (wûrshp)
The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.
Dear Cold Heat,
"The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object."
Yes, and we give that reverent love and devotion due to God alone to God alone.
We revere the saints, and ask them to pray for us.
indeed. if words like "latria" "dulia" and "hyperdulia" were part of our common vocabulary, there wouldn't be so much confusion about Catholics "worshipping" Mary, statues, or anything but the Triune God.
Neither do Catholics.
Many of the Methodist churches have abandoned even that. My grandfather-in-law was a Methodist minister, and a very holy and good man too . . . but his church didn't even use the liturgy in the back of the Methodist hymnal. It was a pretty standard Protestant service, with the sermon rather than the Eucharist being the center of the worship service.
I'll not debate that.
What I will say is that Methodist's pray directly to Jesus who is God's only son and is both human and God.
We do not ask anyone else to do that praying.(we have a direct line)
And that is that. If that is not enough, then there are other religions, all of whom have differences. I make no public judgments of which one is the right or wrong. I only do what is right for me and proselytize for none.
The Methodists formed their first conference in 1744, but it did not have governing power until after the death of John Wesley in 1791.
I learned a lot about the Methodist church in self-defense. I was born and raised Episcopalian, and the sweet little old ladies in my grandfather-in-law's congregation kept asking me when I was going to convert. So I used to respond (very politely) that John and Charles Wesley lived and died Episcopalians, so I hoped I could too.
Didn't work out that way. My husband and I are now Catholic, after the ECUSA apparently went stark raving mad.
But this of course is long after the Reverend went to his heavenly reward.
And omoosios and nous and proskynisis too! :)
Now there is something that Catholics (who know their stuff) and Eastern Orthodox can agree.
Methodists aren't "marginally" but mainline Protestant, along with the Presbyterians. The Baptists of course are further along the continuum, but they always have been.
That is a common canard raised against Catholics, but it is completely and totally untrue. The Catechism and the Canons of the Church are very straightforward about this - worship belongs to God alone. We give the saints honor, and to Mary as the Mother of God special honor is due . . . but never worship.
If so, you are doing the same thing we Catholics do when we ask a saint to pray for us.
For further info, see the Book of Revelation, or Maccabees.
The one we use here is the Eucharist.
My father in law is a retired Methodist minister as well.
Yes, I married a preachers kid.
I have no objections to the rituals. I am very uncomfortable in most of the protestant churches except for the UMC. I have never sensed any anti-catholic mentality, but I do know that idolatry is not acceptable within the UMC family, as I stated. But I have never witnessed anyone publicly saying anything against a catholic. Not ever.
Well, maybe a joke or two.:-)
She last made an appearance in WWII during an American bombing raid. According to the program I'm watching at the moment on COX Cable one of our pilots reported an aparition of what seemed to be a very tall woman catching bombs and tossing them aside.
This was also reported extensively on the ground.
According to this program Matsu is presently the most venerated goddess in Taiwan. You have to talk directly to Matsu since no one may intervene.
Thai Buddhists regularly report such apparitions as well.
I don't begin to understand these visions and images. However, they seem to be a worldwide phenomenon, and there is quite a bit of commonality in them.
My priest predicted it several weeks before it happened. The other major development was on another Marian holiday.
I used to know some good Episcopalian jokes, but I don't tell them any more . . . too many of them came true. :-(
I'm sure that somewhere some religious scholar has thoroughly examined the situation and used that idea, at least in part, as the basis for the justification of current veneration.
Now this is interesting. What happened 12/8? Or is there another one I missed?
"Now there is something that Catholics (who know their stuff) and Eastern Orthodox can agree."
Oh, I trust there's more than that!
You (and I) ask other mortals to pray for you even people you don't know on internet forums. Why not the most blessed mother of the Word become man?
Souls live in heaven and on earth - which puts us all in communion under the Almighty. To true Catholics, it seems illogical to ask other mortals to pray for us, yet refuse to ask those who exist elsewhere in God's Kingdom to do the same - especially the most blessed woman to ever exist.
There were two decisions. I don't remember what but both fell on Marian feasts.
Oh I agree. I think we have a lot in common (maybe even everything). We just explain things different, which causes problems.
However, to answer your question....Yes, I have participated in many prayer threads. I believe that live people can pray, but I don't see how a dead one can. When one dies, one is no longer of this earth and I don't think they listen to prayers, or why they would be necessary to intermediate.
OK by me if you do. That is why we have a diverse religious community.
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