There's little difference anymore –the world's all upside down. We've got a *Lutheran* place of worship that does incense and believes in a Real Presence
(and I'm not one to say, because it's confusing to me
, and we live in really weird times, so I cross myself when I drive by there, *just in case.*) The place is dudded up with statues, an attached altar, communion rails (I've seen pictures), a giant crucifix probably on the scale of the Christ the Redeemer over the altar, a Holy Mother statue, and EVERYTHING! (The STATIONS!!! *Hello!*)
And the leader (who is part of a heirarchy of some sort; not sure what it is, but it's recognized legit by other Lutherans, I think, though not well-respected), he uses a real actual aspergillum with holy water! They celebrate *old-style Holy Days of Obligation* that most N.O. Cats have no clue about. —And their music! I'd thought it would be like the Anglican Use book, but it's freakin CHANT. I think (wouldn't promise, but think
) they've got MONKS! Like, REAL ones. And vestments...! They put most conciliar parishes TO SHAME.
From what I can tell, it's not smells and bells: they believe it! They have ROSARY CRUSADES!
Daily services they call "Mass". (I'm not a Lutheran, at all, BUT these congregants say they're taught that the Reformation was "misunderstood" by ECLA/Lutherans, and one told me "they" think Luther went overboard in his later years. They divide "early Luther" and "later [nut?] Luther" or something. That's why they still do Unction and Confession and ..well, *Catholic* things.)
And it's horribly confusing because the Anglican Use was/is accepted by New!Rome (though the one I know doesn't have Frank hanging up; they've stuck with Benedict
), and (2) this Lutheran parish (part of a "breakaway" synod) literally LOOKS more Catholic than it could possibly be (unless they trace generations back to Luther, I suppose; no idea how that could work). But it IS more Catholic (at least in attempt and desire) than the NO parishes I've seen.
And I'm fairly EENS, Unam Sanctum
all the way! I fear Boniface VIII was overlooked and should probably be canonized just for that
(and a few other things). He's a favorite of mine.
But it's just so hard to tell what the visible Church is anymore :idea: So it's confusing since, yes, all
Protestantism is by definition
evil (protesting Our Lord!
) but what is "good" in this age? Do we hold responsible TODAY people who attend reverently the only parish they grew up with, are interested in Church history, know the Fathers, and the old prayers, and so forth? Just like non-sede Catholics might look on Frank or Wojtyla and possibly say, "oops!", I find it hard to point such Lutherans to a "recognizes Rome" parish that hangs up Frank's picture, probably beside the Mandela and Obama pictures. And I mean, REALLY hard.
Sorry I wrote a book. The topic gets to me. :/ The harvest seems ripe but who's doing the harvesting? And do we help harvest, only to throw the potential wheat in with the weeds? Very sad.