Choosing Sides

 

Whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another,
“I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men?
(Today’s first Mass reading)

 

PRAY more… speak less. Those are the words Our Lady has allegedly addressed to the Church at this very hour. However, when I wrote a meditation on this last week,[1]cf. Pray More… Speak Less a handful of readers somewhat disagreed. Writes one:Continue reading

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Wormwood and Loyalty

 

From the archives: written on February 22nd, 2013…. 

 

A LETTER from a reader:

I totally agree with you — we each need a personal relationship with Jesus. I was born and raised Roman Catholic but find myself now attending the Episcopal (High Episcopal) church on Sunday and becoming involved with the life of this community. I was a member of my church council, a choir member, a CCD teacher and a full-time teacher in a Catholic school. I personally knew four of the priests credibly accused and who confessed of sexually abusing minor children… Our cardinal and bishops and other priests covered up for these men. It strains belief that Rome didn’t know what was going on and, if it truly didn’t, shame on Rome and the Pope and the curia. They are simply horrid representatives of Our Lord…. So, I should remain a loyal member of the RC church? Why? I found Jesus many years ago and our relationship has not changed — in fact it is even stronger now. The RC church is not the beginning and the end of all truth. If anything, the Orthodox church has just as much if not more credibility than Rome. The word “catholic” in the Creed is spelled with a small “c” – meaning “universal” not meaning only and forever the Church of Rome. There is only one true path to the Trinity and that is following Jesus and coming into relationship with the Trinity by first coming into friendship with Him. None of that is dependent upon the Roman church. All of that can be nourished outside of Rome. None of this is your fault and I admire your ministry but I just needed to tell you my story.

Dear reader, thank you for sharing your story with me. I rejoice that, despite the scandals you have encountered, your faith in Jesus has remained. And this doesn’t surprise me. There have been times in history when Catholics in the midst of persecution no longer had access to their parishes, the priesthood, or the Sacraments. They survived within the walls of their inner temple where the Holy Trinity resides. The lived out of faith and trust in a relationship with God because, at its core, Christianity is about the love of a Father for his children, and the children loving Him in return.

Thus, it begs the question, which you have tried to answer: if one can remain a Christian as such: “Should I remain a loyal member of the Roman Catholic Church? Why?”

The answer is a resounding, unhesitating “yes.” And here is why: it’s a matter of staying loyal to Jesus.

 

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The Scandal

 

First published March 25th, 2010. 

 

FOR decades now, as I noted in When the State Sanctions Child Abuse, Catholics have had to endure a never-ending stream of news headlines announcing scandal after scandal in the priesthood. “Priest Accused of…”, “Cover Up”, “Abuser Moved From Parish to Parish…” and on and on. It is heartbreaking, not only to the lay faithful, but to fellow-priests. It is such a profound abuse of power from the man in persona Christi—in the person of Christ—that one is often left in stunned silence, trying to comprehend how this is not just a rare case here and there, but of a much greater frequency than first imagined.

As a result, the faith as such becomes unbelievable, and the Church can no longer present herself credibly as the herald of the Lord. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World, A Conversation with Peter Seewald, p. 25

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The Prophecy at Rome – Part III

 

THE Prophecy at Rome, given in the presence of Pope Paul VI in 1973, goes on to say…

Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation…

In Episode 13 of Embracing Hope TV, Mark explains these words in light of the powerful and clear warnings of the Holy Fathers. God has not abandoned His sheep! He is speaking through His chief shepherds, and we need to hear what they are saying. It is not the time to be afraid, but to wake up and prepare for the glorious and difficult days ahead.

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