Sit-ins a form of congregationalism

Sit-ins a form of congregationalism

The first thing you need to know about this article in the Boston Globe about a suppressed parish that is still holding sit-ins is that it’s written by Bella English. English has consistently written slanted articles that portray protesters as valiant Christians fighting against the big, bad, greedy Church. She started with coverage of St. Albert the Great Parish in Weymouth and expanded it to the rest. (See other examples here.)

This time English is extolling the virtue of the protesters at the closed St. Frances Cabrini parish in Scituate, Massachusetts. As usual, the article tries to claim that parish life is better now while they are in open conflict with their bishop than before.

It has been two years—two years and three days, to be exact—since parishioners at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Scituate began a round-the-clock vigil to protest the closing of their church by the Archdiocese of Boston. Aside from the absence of a priest, you wouldn’t know that anything was different. Life continues at St. Frances, a beautiful church just blocks from the Atlantic Ocean.

... A funny thing has happened on the way to this vigil: Parishioners have become more than just people who punch a time clock for Mass every Sunday. Bonded by a faith that has deepened over their common cause, they have become family, the church their home. “I think that’s what Christ meant it to be,” says Jon Rogers. “We’re not just talking about faith, we’re living it.”

In fact what English is praising is a kind of congregationalism, in which the parishioners have all the power. They hire and fire the clergy, they control all aspects of parish life, and when it comes down to it, decide on doctrine.

Because that works so well for mainline Protestantism.

The error of hyperindividualism

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