the one true church, new & improved

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Mar 29, 2008

Thinking of trading in that old time religion for a newer model? The NCR classifieds seldom let you down. This week's selection includes the Transformational Catholic Church, which (its founder, animator, sole pastor, and presiding bishop assures us) "will have no other Canons or mandated dogmas" beyond the two greatest commandments. Let His Excellency explain it for you:

Why was it founded? The Transformational Catholic Church was founded out of the prayerful reflections and inner calling of Bishop LeBlanc. As a former Roman Catholic monk (Order of the Most Holy Trinity) he found many denominational practices and positions limiting to his personal spiritual growth. As a priest and bishop within the Authcephalous Catholic Movement he saw many of the denominations merely recreating the denominations that the founding clergy and bishops left, with minor changes. Most importantly he recognized the value and worth of small faith communities and minitiries, truly embracing the faith position that "were two or more are gathered" God is found.

Out of these dynamics, Bishop LeBlanc wanted to leave a personal mark on the Autocephalous Movement and thus the creation of yet another denomination. Yet, it is hope that this denomination brings the love of the Sacred/God to more individuals within the Authocephalous Movement, while being a home for the Independent Catholic Home Church Movement.

Should you find Roman Catholicism overly rigid and intellectually jejune, you'll be relieved to learn that Bishop Bruce offers theological sophistication and spiritual richness of no small order:

I have been influenced by the writings of The Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong, Father Joseph Girzone, and the Jesus Seminar. As a result I am theologically very liberal.

My life and spiriutality was impacted, significantly, through my five years as a monastic with the Order of the Most Holy Trinity. The charism of that relgious order, "redemptive charity" is the charism I enact in my ministry.

Not a mandated dogma in sight. Bishop Bruce's parish meets for worship once a month at the Metropolitan Community Church in Davenport, Iowa. Pastorally speaking, that means you'll almost certainly find a place to park. I was pleased to see that included among the Bishop's professional credentials are diplomas in "Paralegal" and "Massage Therapy" -- an unimprovably succinct expression of the spirit of New Age churchmanship.

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  • Posted by: sparch - Oct. 16, 2009 10:41 AM ET USA

    It's the double speak. It doesn't matter if you call them resouce allocation committees or death panels, they will function to assess who will be treated and who will not. I have read that there will be an increase of cancer deaths of over 2 million per year if these committees are established. People will not be able to get the care they need in a timely fashion. Instead of treatment at teh beginning of cancer, it will not come till the end and it then be too late for many.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Oct. 16, 2009 3:48 AM ET USA

    There doesn't need to be a policy to allow nature to take it's course; there IS a policy--or there was until recently. It was a determination made between doctor and patient, or patient's family, about whether extrordinary means should be used, or whether continuing food/water was possible when bodily systems started to shut down as death approached. This new policy will be much worse than insurance companies making medical decisions for us; think Weimar Germany in the 30's; history repeats.

  • Posted by: Ken - Oct. 16, 2009 3:05 AM ET USA

    k9annie - You've missed the whole point of this essay. Re-read the 2nd paragraph of Reich's quote: "we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for THE LAST COUPLE YEARS of your life..." So my 84-year-old father, who spent 3 years away from home fighting WWII, and who is in frail health with heart problems, kidney problems, and slow-growth lieukemia will be told, "No drugs for you to live out the remaining years of your life in relative comfort. Go die somewhere."

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 15, 2009 6:27 PM ET USA

    There is another course of treatment at end of life, and it is called palliative care or making the patient comfortable. Many patients choose this option when they select hospice care instead of aggressive treatment of a terminal disease. Both of my parents did. But, Reich is talking about the government making the choice for palliative care instead of the patient. That is called killing a patient to save money, and that is what our nation is facing if the government controls health care.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 15, 2009 4:08 PM ET USA

    The hard truth is that at some point, there needs to be a policy to allow nature to take its course. Spending every last dollar to enable a dying person one more day may sink any health care system. That being said, allowing nature to take its course is not the same as starving someone to death, or more deliberately, causing someone to die. I do not want to be on the policy committee.