Friday, August 8, 2008

Anglicans for the 21st Century

It looks like Hugo Chavez just might be trying to pull a Henry VIII.

The New York Times has an article about a group of schismatics, who are ironically tied to a "splinter group" (whatever that means) of Anglicans in Texas, that have broken away from the Church and started their own "Reformed Catholic Church" in Venezuela. Can somebody please take one of these whackjobs aside and let them know that this has been tried already? Then give them one of Damien Thompson's articles so they can skip to the end and see how it all turns out.

The leaders of the Reformed Catholic Church, however, say their new church represents a fusion of the best of Anglican and Roman Catholic traditions (BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!). And though they adamantly deny receiving financing from Mr. Chávez’s government and insist that their church has no political affiliation, they do profess solidarity with Mr. Chávez, who has repeatedly clashed with the Roman Catholic hierarchy since rising to power a decade ago.

“I share the revolutionary project of President Chávez, since it is a socialist and humanist project for the masses,” said Enrique Albornoz, a former Lutheran minister (clearly, any heresy is welcome) who is principal bishop, the top leader, of the Reformed Catholic Church. The church says it has about 2,000 members in Cabimas and in other oil towns in Zulia, Venezuela’s most populous state.

Of course, none of these folks have any real concept of what Chavez is doing or why the Church is supposedly so bad.

“Chávez is carrying out the work of God, and I hope our priests here do the same,” said Janeth Vicuña, 54, a housewife who attends the services of the Reformed Catholic Church. “The old Catholic Church claims to work on behalf of the needy, but what have they done for us in all these centuries?”

Yeah, all those schools, hospitals, money, food, etc. haven't done anything for anyone.

While the leaders of the Reformed Catholic Church praise Mr. Chávez’s antipoverty programs, they are hesitant to discuss why poverty remains so common in Venezuela at a time of record oil prices. And they merely smile when asked about Mr. Chávez’s religious thinking, like his assertion that Jesus was the first socialist.

Because they are clearly working so well. Many prayers for these misguided people.

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