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

   [ + ]

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.

 

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

The Coming Counterfeit

The Mask, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

THE warning in my heart continues to grow about a coming deception, which may in fact be the one described in 2 Thess 2:11-13. What follows after the so-called “illumination” or “warning” is not only a brief but powerful period of evangelization, but a dark counter-evangelization that will, in many ways, be just as convincing. Part of the preparation for that deception is knowing beforehand that it is coming:

Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets… I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. (Amos 3:7; John 16:1-4)

Satan not only knows what is coming, but has been planning for it for a long time. It is exposed in the language being used…Continue reading

When Cedars Fall

 

Wail, you cypress trees, for the cedars are fallen,
the mighty have been despoiled. Wail, you oaks of Bashan,
for the impenetrable forest is cut down!
Hark! the wailing of the shepherds,
their glory has been ruined. (Zech 11:2-3)

 

THEY have fallen, one by one, bishop after bishop, priest after priest, ministry after ministry (not to mention, father after father and family after family). And not just little trees—major leaders in the Catholic Faith have fallen like great cedars in a forest.

In a glance over just the past three years, we have seen a stunning collapse of some of the tallest figures in the Church today. The answer for some Catholics has been to hang up their crosses and "quit" the Church; others have taken to the blogosphere to vigorously raze the fallen, while others have engaged in haughty and heated debates in the plethora of religious forums. And then there are those who are quietly weeping or merely sitting in stunned silence as they listen to the echo of these sorrows reverberating throughout the world.

For months now, the words of Our Lady of Akita—given official recognition by no less than the present Pope when he was still Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—have been faintly repeating themselves in the back of my mind:

Continue reading

The Ark and Non-Catholics

 

SO, what about non-Catholics? If the Great Ark is the Catholic Church, what does this mean for those who reject Catholicism, if not Christianity itself?

Before we look at these questions, it is necessary to address the protruding issue of credibility in the Church, which today, is in tatters…

Continue reading

Dynasty, Not Democracy – Part I

 

THERE is confusion, even among Catholics, as to the nature of the Church Christ established. Some feel the Church needs to be reformed, to allow a more democratic approach to her doctrines and to deciding how to deal with present day moral issues.

However, they fail to see that Jesus did not establish a democracy, but a dynasty.

Continue reading