Welcome to the most controversial post about the Catholic Church that I have done.
There is a lot online, from famous personalities such as Bishop Barron, about now being the time to fight for the church, not leave it. My question to the Facebook posters is, Why? How’s that for a morning thought?
What would we be fighting for? Who says what aspects of the church that we fight for? What would we be fighting against? Who would we be fighting against, and at what cost?
Do you know? Bishop Barron, can you answer? Father anyone out there. Deacon Jeff?
I know the answer. Because outside of the sinful members, myself included, we are given the fullness of the revelation of the truth and the clarity of vision to know that through our own evil, suffering and all the ills of the world are there. That Jesus gave us the fullness of truth to overcome our weakness with His help, and see beyond the current heaven and earth to the new one. And the coherence of teaching that is the only perfect merging of faith and reason, complimenting human nature and exalting it, not contradicting it.
But you won’t hear that in most parishes, will you? Ask around, when was the last time you heard a homily that clearly delineated right and wrong? When was the last time you were genuinely shocked about the Catholic faith from the pulpit? Like, John chapter 6 shocking? Our faith is Shocking! Were you told voting pro-abortion goes directly against the teachings of the church? That if you publicly support it as a politician you can be denied the Sacraments? When?! (I’m doing a blatant caveat for my own parish, which constantly challenges.)
I bet you see it on Facebook and gloss over it. You read the headline I share and keep going, maybe even thinking I’m over sharing. But do you hear it from your bishops and pastors?
The crucial point here is that the Faith has been watered-down to reach everyone and fill mega churches, and has been for years! Who is going to fight for it!?!? What is there to fight for that is different or better than the Life Church down the road?! And heck, they allow contraception! Why should I stay here, because older men wearing purple, scarlet, and black tell me I need to fight for it but give me no reason?
Someone said in response to a comment that the Church is having lower attendance, well they would have left anyway. Think on that, and tell me she’s wrong. The people who leave over this would have left anyway, for other reasons. Did they choose to stop believing? Did they not believe to begin with? I don’t know. But I know that they have no cause to believe in. We aren’t catechized! After confirmation, there are few opportunities to grow deeper in the faith. You can send kids to a religious school, but that only works if reinforced at home. And even then it’s watered-down and insipid.
I’m going to give another personal example. My foundation on the Baltimore catechism aside, I once asked a priest friend why homilies aren’t more like the Catholic Stuff you should Know podcast. Legitimately teaching Catholic Stuff! And the answer is time, level of understanding of everyone, etc. Not everyone having the same basic building blocks of understanding… That is a huge problem!
So I say to the people that want to leave Catholicism because of what is going on: go. Go, and discover why you were Catholic to begin with. Go, and learn the tenets of what the church professes. Not to pass your confirmation quiz, not pick and choose teachings of that nice guy Jesus with the sweet hair.
Go, and discover, and learn. Learn the basics, so you can be simple in faith and know the basics! And if you want to or can, go deeper, go ahead! And for those who don’t want to leave, do the same thing!
A bit harsh? Maybe. If you left the church because of this scandal, is there anything else that you disagree with the church on, too? Is it really the only reason?
I want to hammer home that if you want people to fight for something, you have to show why it’s worth fighting for. This has to be our call, why I keep writing about it. Disagree with me? Let’s chat. That is how it all begins.
Mother Angelica, of blessed memory, had an onscreen rant in the 1980’s. I’m going to link it here, because it captures what I feel right now. What she leaves out is that we are starving for Truth. We need to be fed.