C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

Moderators: coracle, Lady Arwen

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Chruch

Postby Stylteralmaldo » Dec 14, 2009 2:16 pm

I have reflected on what CS Lewis would think of the current invitation by the Catholic Church to Anglicans to join the Catholic Church en masse.

I know it's all speculation, but it is difficult to determine what he would have done with such an invite. It seems to me that Lewis was seemingly split down the middle somewhere between high church and low church although I would say that he leaned higher than lower.

It appears (without having an intimate knowledge of Anglicanism) that middle-Anglicanism has been lost since Lewis' day and that we now have two extremes at the poles (for lack of a better comparison). This I believe would have taken him down one of three paths: (a) joined the Catholic Church, (b) remained an Anglican, or (c) left Anglicanism for another Protestant/Christian faith.

My gut tells me that he would have left Anglicanism and either became Catholic or became a member of another Protestant faith. He had a high regard for the Eucharist, so I doubt he would have joined a non-denominational form of Christianity. With the issues he had with papal supremacy, I tend to lean towards him joining another traditional Protestant denomination with stronger Eucharistic reality (as opposed to symbolic in nature).

Lewis appears to have had a high regard for sacramental reality. Perhaps he would have seriously considered Orthodox Christianity or maybe a more conservative Lutheran branch of Protestantism. I doubt he would have entered a denomination with a 'stringent' symbolic-only Eucharist.
Join date: Feb. 19, 2004

My nickname emoji: :@)

...Let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity,...with instruction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1-2)
User avatar
Stylteralmaldo
Moderator Emeritus
Royal Bloodlines Guru
 
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sep 28, 2009

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Chruch

Postby Talking Rat » Jan 09, 2010 1:05 am

I'm not convinced Lewis would have become a Catholic if he'd lived later. I'm not familiar enough with the modern Anglican church to say whether he'd still be Anglican, but I don't really think he would have converted to Catholicism.

From what I've read, his brother Warnie leaned toward Catholicism very much and likely would have become Catholic if it weren't for Jack Lewis.

The facts that his brother leaned toward Catholicism, one of his best friends, Tolkien, was Catholic, and even that he had some more Catholic beliefs make me think that if he was ever going to convert to catholicism, he would have had plenty of reason and opportunity to do so before he died. Instead, I think he must have had substantial enough disagreements to stick to Anglicanism.

But I think in his books Lewis was often very careful to stick to "mere Christianity"-- those beliefs that pretty much all denominations hold to-- or at least clearly differentiate between what most Christians believe, what his denomination believed, or what he himself speculated. Which means that pretty much all Christians, whether Anglican, Catholic (as Lucy P. pointed out), or anything else, can enjoy his books and benefit from them.
He's not a tame lion, but he's good.
Av by hyaline12
User avatar
Talking Rat
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mar 09, 2008
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Chruch

Postby Hermitess of Narnia » Apr 21, 2010 5:53 pm

I am neither Anglican nor Catholic so if I make a mistake on their doctrines that's why.

One thing I noticed was that Pearce said Tolkien was born into a Protestant family. This is not true since his father was Catholic and in order for a Protestant to marry a Catholic the Protestant must sign a document to never teach the children Protestant doctrine.

Lewis certainly knew what Catholics believed. Tolkien had tried to get Lewis to become Catholic, but he didn't. Tolkien would certainly have been good at explaining Catholicism to him because Tolkien translated part of the Vulgate into English.

We know Lewis was very educated and assertive about his Christian beliefs. His theological books are acknowledged as being well grounded and are still widely read. Also, from what I understand, being part of the Anglican church now days is often part of saying "I am English".

About Aslan not having a mother, I would say that is because Lewis was not writing a strict allegory, he said so himself. Jesus, of course, had a human mother so He could be fully human and fully God. God also appeared like a human in the Old Testament (Jacob wrestling God asking for His blessing.) Aslan was physically in Narnia at it's creation.
User avatar
Hermitess of Narnia
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 108
Joined: May 18, 2009
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Chruch

Postby Aravis Narnia » Apr 22, 2010 6:20 pm

I wonder what specifically is the biggest theological difference between the church of Rome and the church of England. There has to be more than just ritual differences, authority differences, or moral/social viewpoint differences.

I may joke about it, but I honestly do not believe the only reason why Episcopalians/Anglicans may not take communion in the Roman Catholic church is because England is wealthier than Italy. Why would the Eastern Orthodox/Armenian/Coptic/Maronite/etc. be allowed then- is it because it is mainly authority, ritual differences are not big, and theologically they are similar...or because Greece/Russia/Armenia/Egypt/Lebanon/etc. are not as rich as Italy?
User avatar
Aravis Narnia
NarniaWeb Fanatic
 
Posts: 4546
Joined: Oct 09, 2009
Location: Florida
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby coracle » Apr 22, 2010 9:56 pm

The biggest difference between Anglican and Catholic was caused by the Reformation. There are some real differences in doctrines and practices because the Anglican church is Protestant.

In England (a few centuries ago) it was illegal, then difficult or unpopular to hold Catholic beliefs/practices. This didn't prevent a sizeable minority from preferring Roman Catholic teaching and ways, and thus developed the High Church strand of Anglicanism. More in line with non-liturgical,Bible-based churches outside the Church of England there developed the Evangelical or Low Church strand. Conservative Bible-believing Anglicans tend to be Evangelicals.

Lewis refused to define himself but he certainly remained an Anglican. I can sympathise with some Catholic Christians who would like to claim him as their own, but it just wasn't like that. On the other hand, his conversion was strongly assisted by that dear devout RC church member, Ron Tolkien, for whom I thank God!

P.S. Aravis Narnia, in my theological studies and many years as a Christian I have never heard wealth quoted as a reason for Christians from different churches not taking communion together. I am sure you are right that it is a lot more to do with teachings and beliefs.
"Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who diversified his creatures" (a Jewish prayer to be said whenever one sees an unusual looking person or animal),
User avatar
coracle
Moderator
NarniaWeb's Auntie
 
Posts: 19991
Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Location: England
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Chruch

Postby Aravis Narnia » Apr 23, 2010 2:09 pm

Coracle- that is just me speculating and being a rebel and being tired of being required to go to church so much. I found it curious that churches of countries wealthier than Italy (England, Germany, Sweden) were NOT allowed communion, while those poorer than Italy (Greece, Russia, Egypt, Armenia) were allowed indeed.

I wonder if C.S. Lewis went to an Episcopalian/Anglican church simply because it was the closest to his beliefs, but may have had more eclectic beliefs that did not align with any one denomination. He may have syncretized. Nothing wrong with that.
User avatar
Aravis Narnia
NarniaWeb Fanatic
 
Posts: 4546
Joined: Oct 09, 2009
Location: Florida
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Chruch

Postby coracle » Apr 23, 2010 3:15 pm

Well it's a great deal due to the Church of England being the default/official church in England. After the Reformation in England, The Church that had all been RC became all Church of England(=Anglican). Most English people would call themselves "C of E" even if they never attend!
Lewis went to C of E as a matter of course. His own beliefs were not necessarily a perfect match with what any individual minister said - and as an Anglican myself I can tell you there is a wide range.
But the basic tenets are found in the "Thirty-Nine Articles" printed in our prayer books. (you might like to google it)
"Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who diversified his creatures" (a Jewish prayer to be said whenever one sees an unusual looking person or animal),
User avatar
coracle
Moderator
NarniaWeb's Auntie
 
Posts: 19991
Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Location: England
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Apr 23, 2010 6:44 pm

The Church of England, plus much of the acrimony with and discrimination against Catholics started when Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon, in defiance of the Pope, to marry Anne Boleyn, proclaiming himself head of the Church in England when he did so. But he later executed Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I when she also failed to provide the much longed-for male heir to the throne. Jane Seymour provided the wherewithall, but Edward VI, a Protestant, who succeeded his father, died at a young age. His eldest half-sister, Mary Tudor, sometimes called Bloody Mary, married the King of Spain, Philip II, and both wanted England to revert to Catholicism. When Mary died, she was succeeded by Elizabeth 1, also known as Good Queen Bess and the Virgin Queen.

Elizabeth I's government did the most to establish the Church of England, having little option to do otherwise, since her mother wasn't recognised as a legitimate wife of Henry VIII by the Catholics. Instead the Catholics thought that Mary, Queen of Scots, the Catholic grand-daughter of Henry's sister Margaret, was the legitimate ruler of England. Mary's son, James I of England and VI of Scotland, ushered in the Stuart era, and though he, himself, was a Protestant, married to a Protestant, his ruling son and grandsons married Catholic princesses, and toyed with the idea of turning Catholic, themselves. Subsequent to James II being chased out of Britain, to this day, the Royal family has to marry Protestants or disqualify themselves from succession to the throne. That is, despite the Anglican church no longer being the state religion and it being now illegal to discriminate otherwise against RC's in UK.

The head of the Church of England is Queen Elizabeth II, though much of the overall administration etc would be in the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury, traditionally the Primate or head churchman of the Church of England. Matters of doctrine are decided by the Anglican synods. Stylteralmaldo, I don't put much weight on the recent Catholic invite to Anglicans, though some may very well decide on Catholicism. Because to join the Catholic church is to acknowledge that the Pope is the infallible head of the Church and there are many Anglicans who might disagree. Including C.S.Lewis, I would imagine.

Not only that, but a whole heap of Anglican clergy aren't going to divorce their wives to turn Catholic, and it would be unreasonable and unholy to ask them to do so. If Catholics permit married ex-Anglican clergy to practise in the Catholic church, how are they going to preserve their requirement of celibate clergy, not a requirement in either the Anglican/Episcopalian or the Orthodox churches?

Aravis Narnia wrote:I wonder what specifically is the biggest theological difference between the church of Rome and the church of England. There has to be more than just ritual differences, authority differences, or moral/social viewpoint differences.


The biggest theological differences between Anglicans and Catholics, to my knowledge, apart from the issue of married clergy and the overall authority of the Pope would be the doctrine of transubstantiation. Many Catholics believe that when you take Communion that the bread and wine are not just symbolic and 'in memory of Christ's body and blood, shed for you for the remission of sins'. They believe that the bread and wine literally and miraculously become Christ's body and blood.

I don't know what other Protestants believe, and notice that even in Anglican circles transubstatiation is rarely discussed, unlike among Catholics. Another glaring difference is the attitude to Mary, Mother of Christ, who in Catholic circles can be prayed to, with or without rosary beads.

I've been to Mass a few times, as a guest or in memory of a colleague who recently died. I notice that when RCs take communion it is only the wafer they have, never a sip of wine, unlike us Anglicans. They line up in the middle of the church, much as we do, but they do not kneel at the altar rail. The priest comes to them, and once given the wafer they peel off back to their seats. As Coracle says, above, Article 30 of the thirty nine articles says that in the Anglican church, Communion is to be taken in both kinds, and that the cup is not to be denied to lay people. With current concerns about swine flu, we have little cups you can collect on the way up to the altar, which the officiating minister will bless, and if you object to alcohol, grape juice is also available.

I never felt free to take Communion with the Catholics, though as a stranger I might not have been noticed if I did. Not only was the ritual different from what I was used to, with no sidespersons to indicate when it was my turn, but also I believe in the Catholic Church you are not supposed to take Communion if you haven't made your confession to a priest beforehand. Whereas Protestants and Anglicans alike are not required to do this formally, to a priest, at any rate. It isn't only High Church Anglicans who can confess to a minister if they wish, and counsel from a priest can be a boon for those in trouble and distress. But unlike the Catholic church, formal confession is not set up as a pre-Communion requirement.

There is also a difference in what Anglicans and Catholics regard as a sacrament. Anglicans see baptism and communion as sacraments of course, but the Catholics also include as sacraments, extreme unction, confirmation, marriage and the ordination of priests. I'm not so sure about this demarcation though, and can well believe that High Church Anglicans would see things differently. Perhaps experts like Dr Ransom or MarkSommers could help with this?

I doubt that C.S.Lewis' non-denominational style and his sticking to 'Mere Christianity' would impel him to adopt Catholicism, whatever the events of today, as respectful of their beliefs as he was. But don't forget also, that it wasn't until after C.S.Lewis died that the Catholic church made the biggest change it had done in centuries when it allowed services to be conducted in one's own language, rather than in Latin. It isn't that C.S.Lewis didn't know Latin - he did, and enjoyed and appreciated that language. But in his lifetime he struggled with different languages, unlike Tolkien, and it shows in his Narnia books, in particular, where he does little dabbling with alternative languages, despite dreaming up several different countries existing over hundreds of years.
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 8137
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby Amira Tair » Apr 24, 2010 2:02 am

Hermitess of Narnia wrote:One thing I noticed was that Pearce said Tolkien was born into a Protestant family. This is not true since his father was Catholic and in order for a Protestant to marry a Catholic the Protestant must sign a document to never teach the children Protestant doctrine.

As far as I remember, from Tolkien's biography by Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien's father was a Protestant, it was his mother who converted to Catholicism when he was a child, much to the opposition of her family, and educated her sons as such from then on.
Waggawerewolf, you have summed up pretty well the origins of the Church of England, it was primarily a question of authority - something which had also happened in the Middle Ages - which combined with the rising Protestantism. It was also an economic question, as with the dissolution of monasteries, the king got a great amount of land which he could send.
On the subject of Anglicans becoming Catholics, I would like to point out that those married priests that have asked to be accepted within the Catholic Church will be accepted as such, and that does not interfere with the principle of celibacy. It is well explained the document issued by the Pope in November, Anglicanorum Coetibus, which can be found at the Vatican webpage.
Waggawerewolf wrote:I've been to Mass a few times, as a guest or in memory of a colleague who recently died. I notice that when RCs take communion it is only the wafer they have, never a sip of wine, unlike us Anglicans. They line up in the middle of the church, much as we do, but they do not kneel at the altar rail. The priest comes to them, and once given the wafer they peel off back to their seats. As Coracle says, above, Article 30 of the thirty nine articles says that in the Anglican church, Communion is to be taken in both kinds, and that the cup is not to be denied to lay people.

Well, let me start by saying that yes, Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus in both bread and wine; therefore, we don't need both substances to receive Him. However, the real reason for taking the bread only is an organizational one. On special occasions and masses with fewer people we receive both the bread and the wine and this is being encouraged more and more. In some places people kneel to receive the communion, in others they don't; there are many difference is use and habit, but the essential is always present.

waggawerewolf wrote:I never felt free to take Communion with the Catholics, though as a stranger I might not have been noticed if I did. Not only was the ritual different from what I was used to, with no sidespersons to indicate when it was my turn, but also I believe in the Catholic Church you are not supposed to take Communion if you haven't made your confession to a priest beforehand. Whereas Protestants and Anglicans alike are not required to do this formally, to a priest, at any rate. It isn't only High Church Anglicans who can confess to a minister if they wish, and counsel from a priest can be a boon for those in trouble and distress. But unlike the Catholic church, formal confession is not set up as a pre-Communion requirement.
There is also a difference in what Anglicans and Catholics regard as a sacrament. Anglicans see baptism and communion as sacraments of course, but the Catholics also include as sacraments, extreme unction, confirmation, marriage and the ordination of priests.

As far as I know, apart from Catholics only Eastern Orthodox can receive the communion in a Catholic mass and viceversa, as they both believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ. I don't think it is allowed for any Protestant denomination.
The Church establishes a minimum of one confession and communion once a year, in Passover, and you can't receive communion if you are in mortal sin. What I mean is that there is not a rule that specifically says, "you have to confess every time you take communion". Frequent confession is highly recommended, but the only "obligation" is the one I mention. The rest is up to you.
Penance or Reconciliation is also a sacrament.

I think some reasons why so many Catholics admire Lewis - and maybe would like to think he would have become one - is because of the emphasis he did on the common things all Christians share, some of his beliefs not very much in agreement with Protestantism (i.e. the purgatory) and his great respect of great Catholic authors such as Tolkien or Chesterton.
User avatar
Amira Tair
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 209
Joined: May 12, 2008
Location: Beyond
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby Lucy P. » May 18, 2010 5:21 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Many Catholics believe that when you take Communion that the bread and wine are not just symbolic and 'in memory of Christ's body and blood, shed for you for the remission of sins'. They believe that the bread and wine literally and miraculously become Christ's body and blood.

I don't know what other Protestants believe, and notice that even in Anglican circles transubstatiation is rarely discussed, unlike among Catholics. Another glaring difference is the attitude to Mary, Mother of Christ, who in Catholic circles can be prayed to, with or without rosary beads.

I've been to Mass a few times, as a guest or in memory of a colleague who recently died. I notice that when RCs take communion it is only the wafer they have, never a sip of wine, unlike us Anglicans. They line up in the middle of the church, much as we do, but they do not kneel at the altar rail. The priest comes to them, and once given the wafer they peel off back to their seats. As Coracle says, above, Article 30 of the thirty nine articles says that in the Anglican church, Communion is to be taken in both kinds, and that the cup is not to be denied to lay people. With current concerns about swine flu, we have little cups you can collect on the way up to the altar, which the officiating minister will bless, and if you object to alcohol, grape juice is also available.

I never felt free to take Communion with the Catholics, though as a stranger I might not have been noticed if I did. Not only was the ritual different from what I was used to, with no sidespersons to indicate when it was my turn, but also I believe in the Catholic Church you are not supposed to take Communion if you haven't made your confession to a priest beforehand. Whereas Protestants and Anglicans alike are not required to do this formally, to a priest, at any rate. It isn't only High Church Anglicans who can confess to a minister if they wish, and counsel from a priest can be a boon for those in trouble and distress. But unlike the Catholic church, formal confession is not set up as a pre-Communion requirement.


Just a few things--

It is more like all Catholics believe that Jesus is present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Host. Those who don't haven't been taught what we believe.

About imbibing the wine-
Sometimes we do drink the Blood of Christ. Sometimes the Host is even dipped into the wine before the communicant receives, and that's called "intinction".
The reason that most of the time Catholics do not both eat and drink at Communion is that during the Middle Ages there was a heresy called utraquism. The Utraquists believed that to receive the whole Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ you had to receive under both species (both the host and the wine), while in reality all you need is one of the two. To combat this heresy the Church decreed that the the communicants should only receive the Host, so that they would realize that they only needed to receive under one species to receive the whole Christ.

About confession before Communion-
Since the communicant is receiving Christ within him, he must make sure that he is in a state of grace (not in mortal, or grievous, sin) before he receives. For example, if he's killed someone or committed adultery, he cannot receive Communion until he's cleaned his soul through confession. However, if the communicant is reasonably sure that he has not sinned grievously, he may receive Communion without confessing immediately beforehand.

You also spoke of forcing married Anglican priests to divorce. The Church would never do that! In cases like these the Church gives out a dispensation from celibacy. However, this is extremely rare, and the priests must have been married before having converted to the Catholic faith, so it does not demoralize the other celibate priests. Here's more info if you wish: http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/MARPRIE.htm


Lastly, I have no idea whether C.S. Lewis would have converted or not.
I know that we Catholics have a habit of trying to make famous authors who were not Catholic possibly Catholic (we don't know for sure if Shakespeare was one man, but there are a plethora of books out there trying to prove that he was secretly Catholic).
Lewis certainly had Catholic viewpoints, but that does not mean he definitely would have subscribed to the Faith had he lived longer.

Here is a good book:
http://www.staugustine.net/Latinletteroflewis.html

Apparently Lewis wrote beautiful letters in Latin to a Catholic priest. So there is evidence that he had friendly and personal relations with another Catholic scholar other than Tolkien, if anyone is interested.
Image
Quod Erat Demonstrandum
User avatar
Lucy P.
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2450
Joined: Nov 22, 2007
Location: Bletchley Park

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby sweeetlilgurlie » May 23, 2010 10:07 am

Lucy P. wrote: About imbibing the wine-
Sometimes we do drink the Blood of Christ. Sometimes the Host is even dipped into the wine before the communicant receives, and that's called "intinction".
The reason that most of the time Catholics do not both eat and drink at Communion is that during the Middle Ages there was a heresy called utraquism. The Utraquists believed that to receive the whole Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ you had to receive under both species (both the host and the wine), while in reality all you need is one of the two. To combat this heresy the Church decreed that the the communicants should only receive the Host, so that they would realize that they only needed to receive under one species to receive the whole Christ.


Whoa, hold on! Are you saying that there is never one time where Catholics receive both species during communion? We do it quite often at our Church. Sometimes it is difficult, however, because, as Amira Tair noted, it's difficult to give communion under both species in large crowds. The bit about the heresy is interesting, but I'm pretty sure that such a decree has by now been invalidated.

Lucy P. wrote:About confession before Communion-
Since the communicant is receiving Christ within him, he must make sure that he is in a state of grace (not in mortal, or grievous, sin) before he receives. For example, if he's killed someone or committed adultery, he cannot receive Communion until he's cleaned his soul through confession. However, if the communicant is reasonably sure that he has not sinned grievously, he may receive Communion without confessing immediately beforehand.


I just want to clarify something: the reason for confessing grievous sin before receiving communion is, as Lucy P. said, to have an unstained soul before receiving Jesus. Catholics believe that when they receive communion, it's not just a symbol of Christ's body and blood. It's actually his body and his blood--the body and blood of God. Taking that, it's quite logical to want to be pure from any sin that separates one from him before receiving him into oneself. If you didn't, it would sort of be like inviting someone over and slamming the door in his face just as he got there.

I think that the Catholic Church wants Lewis to be Catholic because he was such a great guy. Kind of the mentality of "He's awesome! We want him on our side!". Regardless, I love his work.
"Let the music cast its spell,
give the atmosphere a chance.
Simply follow where I lead;
let me teach you how to dance."
User avatar
sweeetlilgurlie
Moderator Emeritus
The Sparkle Princess
 
Posts: 5424
Joined: Oct 26, 2005
Location: Narnia
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby Dr Elwin Ransom » May 24, 2010 8:48 am

Blimey, this has gotten a bit afield from Narnia, hasn't it? :) Ordinarily I'd offer some thoughts about the Catholic understanding of "transubstantiation" and how Christ is present in the elements of Communion/the Sacraments/Mass whichever. However ...

1. I need to get back to my day job;

2. General doctrinal discussion belongs in the ever-popular Christianity, Religion and Philosophy series in The Spare Oom.

Perhaps we can inject a bit more of Narnia in this discussion here, though. Here is my attempt: the fact that Lewis, writing not direct analogy but a "supposal" of Jesus working in another world, saw fit not to include a Catholic-type church or view of organized faith in that world. I wonder, was this a result of Lewis's non-Catholicism? Why or why not?
Image

Speculative Faith
Exploring epic stories for God's glory.
Blogs, guest authors, novel reviews, and features on hot fiction topics.
User avatar
Dr Elwin Ransom
Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus, "... and he almost deserved it."
 
Posts: 3279
Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Location: United States
Gender: Male

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby Lucy P. » May 24, 2010 9:03 am

sweeetlilgurlie wrote:
Lucy P. wrote: About imbibing the wine-
Sometimes we do drink the Blood of Christ. Sometimes the Host is even dipped into the wine before the communicant receives, and that's called "intinction".
The reason that most of the time Catholics do not both eat and drink at Communion is that during the Middle Ages there was a heresy called utraquism. The Utraquists believed that to receive the whole Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ you had to receive under both species (both the host and the wine), while in reality all you need is one of the two. To combat this heresy the Church decreed that the the communicants should only receive the Host, so that they would realize that they only needed to receive under one species to receive the whole Christ.


Whoa, hold on! Are you saying that there is never one time where Catholics receive both species during communion? We do it quite often at our Church. Sometimes it is difficult, however, because, as Amira Tair noted, it's difficult to give communion under both species in large crowds. The bit about the heresy is interesting, but I'm pretty sure that such a decree has by now been invalidated.


Yup, the decree is no longer validated. Forgot that bit, sorry. :ymblushing: But it's still the explanation for why some churches still don't usually provide communion under both species.

The question of why Lewis never included a Catholic religion is a fascinating one. After all, I believe that back in his time Catholicism was even more popular than Islam, and he included a pseudo-Islamic religion in Narnia. Why didn't he also include Catholics?

The reason is that he already did. Lewis considered Catholics to be legitimate Christians, so they would naturally be a part of Aslan's crowd.

Also, you can't really project parallel religious denominations into Narnia. Aslan is Jesus, Tash/evil witches are the devil, and each character's religion depends upon whom he follows (or, if you are like the dwarfs, the character doesn't follow any and is basically an atheist).
Image
Quod Erat Demonstrandum
User avatar
Lucy P.
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2450
Joined: Nov 22, 2007
Location: Bletchley Park

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby Hermitess of Narnia » May 24, 2010 5:01 pm

Amira Tair wrote: As far as I remember, from Tolkien's biography by Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien's father was a Protestant, it was his mother who converted to Catholicism when he was a child, much to the opposition of her family, and educated her sons as such from then on.

I had learned Tolkien's mother married a Catholic from a book my mom read, however, that book was not written by Humphrey Carpenter and since Carpenter actually knew Tolkien, you are probably right .


This is a letter Lewis wrote which is found in Volume II of The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis. It was written to a man in New York City wondering if he should become Anglican or Catholic so it could help this discussion significantly.

To H. Lyman Stebbins: May 8th 1945,

C.S. Lewis wrote:Dear Mr. Stebbing-
My position about the Churches can best be made plain by an imaginary example. SupposeI want to find out the correct interpretation of Plato's teaching. What I am most confident in accepting is that interpretation wh. is common to all Platonists down all the centuries: what Aristotle and the Renaissance scholars and Paul Elmer More agree on I take to be true Platonism. Any purely modern views wh. claim to have discovered for the first time what P. meant, and say that everyone from Aristotle down has misunderstood him, I reject out of hand.
But there is somethin else I wd. also reject. If there were and ancient Platonic Society still existing at Athens and claiming to be the exclusive trustees of P's meaning, I shd. approach them with great respect. But if I found that their teaching in many ways was curiously unlike his actual text and unlike what ancient interpreters said, and in some cases cd. not be traced back to within 1000 years of his time, I shd. reject these exclusive claims: while still ready, of course, to take any particular thing thay taught on its merits.
I do the same with Xtianity. What is most certain is the vast mass of doctrine wh. I find agreed on by Scripture, the Fathers, the Middle Ages, modern R.C.'s, modern Protestants. that is true 'catholic' doctrine. Mere 'modernism' I reject at once.
The Roman Church where it differs from this universal tradition and specifically from apostolic Xtianity I reject. thus their theology about the B.V.M. [Blessed Virgin Mary] I reject because it seems utterly foreign to the New Testament: where indeed the words 'Blessed is the womb that bore thee' receive a rejoinder pointing in exactly the opposite direction. Their papalism seems equally foreign to the attitude of St Paul towards St Peter in the Epistles. The doctrine of Transubstantiation insists in defining in a way wh. the N.T. seems to me not to countenance. In a word, the whole set-up of modern Romanism seems to me to be as much a provincial or local variation from the central, ancient tradition as any particular Protestant sect is. I must therefore reject their claim: tho' this does not mean rejecting particular things they say.
I'm afraid I haven't read any modern books of Roman-Anglican controversy. Hooker (Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity) is to me the great formulation of Anglicanism. But the great point is that in one sense there's no such thing as Anglicanism. What we are committed to believing is whatever can be proved from Scripture. On that subject there is room for endless progress. However you decide, good wishes. Mention me in your prayers.
Your sincerely
C.S. Lewis


I would reccommend the books of Lewis' letters very highly. In the second volume some Roman Catholics do try to convince him to join their church, he is very polite and stresses writing about what they DO agree on. You can find the letters by looking them up in the index at the end of the book.
User avatar
Hermitess of Narnia
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 108
Joined: May 18, 2009
Gender: Female

Re: C S Lewis and the Catholic Church

Postby sweeetlilgurlie » May 26, 2010 5:08 pm

That's really interesting, Hermitess! I shall do my best to look up those letters. It's an interesting look at his perspective, to say the least. :)
"Let the music cast its spell,
give the atmosphere a chance.
Simply follow where I lead;
let me teach you how to dance."
User avatar
sweeetlilgurlie
Moderator Emeritus
The Sparkle Princess
 
Posts: 5424
Joined: Oct 26, 2005
Location: Narnia
Gender: Female

Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest