(Original post by adamrules247)
Just to ask a totally random question, are you, and the other members of your Cath Soc, members of the Christian Union. I'm just curious because obviously we have separate society when all the other Christian groups appear to stand under the united banner and also because many of the Catholics I've seen aren't members and, also, it seems to appear that some have a tiny whiff of anti Catholicism about them.
BTW This question is open to anyone who's in uni or has been to uni.
(Original post by jammiebreadman)
I'm just coming to the end of my first year at Warwick uni and I have been quite involved with the Christian Union here. Having said that, I'm the only Catholic I know of that is. The CU here is heavily Protestant, in terms of its theology and the way they go about things, and they don't even include Catholic churches on their list of churches in the nearby area - so they really make no effort to accomodate Catholics.
But I am quite involved for a few reasons. Firstly, the CathSoc here at Warwick is quite small and hasn't put on many events this year. Also, I feel ecumenism is very important and the talks and the meetings and the Bible studies are actually a lot of the time very good, even though I will often disagree with what's being said.
Their obsession with evangelism irks me somewhat. Having said that, I do think evangelism is important and that perhaps Catholics just don't talk about it enough, although the CU talks about it far too much. I have felt uncomfortable when doing 'evangelism events' and hearing views professed to non-Christians that I disagree with.
This is just my experience of one CU, and although they are a Protestant group essentially, they're not anti-Catholic and I've never had a problem telling members of the CU that I'm a Catholic. I'm even leading a Bible study group with them now! So yeah, I think it might be worth having a look to see how it is, but it's certainly understandable if you don't feel comfortable there.
(Original post by adamrules247)
Very wise advice there
I probably won't join the CU, they seem a little 'happy clappy' from what I've read and, like I said, I find it pretty insulting they've left the Catholic Cathedral off their list of churches they'll take their members to.
I'm a first year Engineer at Oxford, and I've probably been much more active in OICCU than in the Catholic Chaplaincy. Realistically, what has to be kept in mind with most Christian Unions is that they are
Protestant organisations. That's why, Adam, they don't have Catholic churches on their list of churches in the area. However this is not an action that OICCU (as an example) has taken alone; all churches on the list have to sign up to the CU's "Statement of Faith" which (if you want it) can be found on the website. You don't have to sign it to be a member, but obviously the basis of the CU leadership will be these values, so it would be silly for them to include churches who don't agree with these beliefs.
I'd also point out that it's up to individual students to go to church, the CU is an additional body for those who want it, so they don't "Take their members" to any churches, like I said, these are just churches which agree to the statement of faith.
Personally, I have no problem with evangelism; in fact, I think it's something that we miss out sometimes! Luckily for me (or more likely, through His grace) the current CU committee share my view that there's more to evangelism than just telling someone that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and leaving it there, so we're getting on even better now than we did before.
People don't have a problem with me being a Catholic and in the CU; the only inkling of a hint of a mention of an issue is when there is some sort of doctrinal difference, because (just like you don't like to hear something preached you don't believe) the CU doesn't like to hear something it doesn't believe preached. But people respect your right to believe it. Moreso, I have been blessed to have some of my Protestant friends come along to Mass because they are eager to support me in my faith, and it was great to have them take part in our worship!
I don't have problems with the CU being predominantly Protestant or the Chaplaincy being specifically Catholic. What I have a problem with is opposition on both sides (and it exists on both sides) to each group working with the other. Coming from NI, there is an emphasis at home on the importance of ecumenism because it is perceived that at home we're very bad at it. Disappointingly, what I've experienced here is that while there are loads of members of the Chaplaincy who are friends with members of OICCU, and loads of members of OICCU who are friends with members of the Chaplaincy, there is little to no interaction between the OICCU and the Chaplaincy.
In the words of St Augustine: In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.
This is how my relationship with OICCU has worked; I can only pray that it is like this for more people and that the future will see more interaction between the Chaplaincy/CathSoc and OICCU.