Tuesday, 16th May, 2000

[Reading this journal entry now seems quite surreal. Readers will have no difficulty in spotting the incorrect logic in the fourth paragraph. I eventually spotted it too! – David]

Drawing out more on what my spiritual director told me, I was explaining to Cathy my view of how I will proceed from here.

Essentially, this call to the Catholic Church is something that will not go away if I ignore it. It is an old issue for me that has resurfaced precisely when my ministry is shaky. It is therefore a foundational issue for me, and I have to deal with it eventually.

So I will “follow truth where it leads...” and as far as it leads. I will not enter the Catholic church if it means I can never receive communion in the Catholic Church. My director talked about some Russian king who wanted to enter the church, but because of his murderous life was not permitted to be anything other than a catechumen all his life—he was only allowed to “look in through the windows”. I have asked myself whether I would be content to “look in through the windows” and I cannot think that this is what God is calling me to do. So I would take such a conclusion as a full stop.

That is, God has urged me to follow this to its conclusion. If the conclusion is that I simply cannot, as a divorced and remarried person, be a communicant member of the Catholic church, well that’s it, I have to remain a Lutheran (there is no other alternative). This in turn will give me the solid foundation that I require to continue my ministry in the Lutheran church. If, on the other hand, I turn back at any stage before I reach the point at which I can go no further, the question of whether I should be a Catholic will always remain unresolved.

The one thing that must happen from that point on, however, is that I must cease all dissembling. I am doing this for the sake of my integrity. I am at heart a Catholic. I will be a Catholic whether the Catholic church will have me or no. So if I remain a Lutheran, I will no longer defend what is Catholic because it is Lutheran, but rather defend and teach what is Lutheran because it is Catholic. I will be known as a Catholic, even if I remain a Lutheran.

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