Friday, April 13, 2007

The latest in strange

Well, I have almost recovered from the Triduum. I took Monday and Tuesday off and went to mom's. The unfortunate thing about doing that is that there is a always a stack of stuff on my desk when I come back. (OK, a larger and more cluttered than normal stack of stuff on my desk.)

One thing stands out above the rest. Yesterday, I got a call from a parishioner. It seems that one of her Mormon co-workers approached her with the following argument/pseudo-fact. "Your Catholic priests are only Aaronic priests, but we LDS have the higher priesthood; the Melchizedek priesthood." This is strange even from the Mormons and I don't think that it even jibes with their beliefs.

Mormons believe that there are two priesthoods: the Aaronic (lower) and the Melchizedek (higher). Mormon males are initiated into both beginning in early adolescence. They maintain that both disappeared from the Earth with the Great Apostasy and had were restored when various apostles appeared to and ordained Joseph Smith and select followers.

Where do I begin with the problems both theological and historical? First, the Old Testament priesthood was hereditary. It was strictly limited to the descendants of Aaron. Therefore, if you aren't Jewish and your last name isn't Cohen, you are out of luck. Second, the Old Testament priesthood ceased with the perfection of the Old Covenant in the New. Since there is no need of animal sacrifices in the Temple, there is no need to the priesthood of Aaron. Third, the New Testament priesthood is that of Jesus Christ. Every baptized Christian shares in it by virtue of their baptism. Those with Apostolic authority share in it in a different and more profound way through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. That is just a start.

Suffice it to say that this fellow was way out in left field. Welcome to life in Zion.
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