Saturday, March 31, 2012


CNN recently reported on a survey that lists the top 7 reasons why Catholics say they leave the Church:

1. The sex abuse crisis
2. The church’s stance on homosexuality
3. Dissatisfaction with the priest
4. Uninspiring homilies on Sundays
5. Perception that church hierarchy is too closely tied to conservative politics
6. Church’s stance toward divorced and remarried Catholics
7. The status of women

My contention, though, is that the most Catholics who no longer practice the faith, don't join Protestant denominations or other religious groups, they become what some now call "nones." That's just another word for "inactive Catholic" or "non-practicing Catholic" or "fallen away Catholic." "Nones" is a take on "nuns" and there is a word for that in our English language which I can't now recall when two words sound alike but mean different things and are spelled differently, and "nones" is more politically correct, than "fallen away."

If what is said above are the true reasons for Catholics leaving the Church you would then think that Liberal Protestantism epitomized by the Episcopal and Methodist Churches would be booming, seeing a Renaissance unlike any other time in their histories. They have no problem with their clergy having same sex partners even outside of same sex marriages or legal unions (I know of one such situation with the approval of the vestry in good old Macon!). They advocate for same sex marriages. They ordain women. They give great sermons. They are closely aligned with liberal politics, they allow for divorce and remarriage for clergy and laity and in multiple sequences and their ministers are held in high respect and adulation and are married or shacking up. Yet, they too, oddly enough, are bleeding members at such an accelerated pace, that these two denominations may well collapse into oblivion and no one will really notice.

No the problem for Catholics, Christianity and all religion in the USA and Western Europe isn't any of the things in the CNN report, these are merely excuses to hide the truth of why people no longer practice their faith, no matter what faith it is. Secularism and I mean godless, political secularism is the driving force tied into an immense loss of faith in God and in salvation and the necessity of it in light of damnation. If one does not believe in God, believe in heaven or hell, then why the hell be Christian or Catholic. Why go to Mass every Sunday since the Mass re-presents in an unbloody way the only Event in Salvation history that can save individuals and the world collectively from the fires of hell and damnation?

Godless secularism creates ambivalence and denial toward the essentials of the Christian faith--The Most Holy Trinity, The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, and His Saving Events, Incarnation, Birth, Hidden Life, Public Ministry, Passion, Death, Resurrection, Resurrection appearances over 40 days, Ascension, Pentecost, the Era of the Church (the Last Days) and finally His Second Coming successfully to conclude Salvation History beginning with Adam and Eve.

In terms of the CNN’s report on the study of why Catholics leave the Church, it would seem to me as I remember my sociology studies that these same questions have to be applied to other Christians to get a more accurate understanding of our age. In other words there must be context. Episcopalians and other liberal Protestant denominations are possibly facing extinction as they lose more and more members each year and each of them is quite liberal on all the issues in the CNN report and each of them too has sex abuse issues although CNN and other liberal news outlets could care less about that since the other aspects of liberal Protestantism fit in so neatly with the mindset of secular liberalism espoused by these media companies.

The survey suggests too that there is dissatisfaction with bishops being politically pro-active and thus this is called the politicization of the Church. And yet some people no longer go to Church because they say they have no voice in the Church and no one seems to care they are missing. That sounds like more to me of the “politicization” of the Church when one wants to be a member in order to participate in the process of manipulating and desconstructing the Church according to a liberal, secular model for intra-political purposes.

Let’s face it, the biggest reason people are leaving the faith and evidently most are not joining liberal Protestant denominations, in fact more are going to conservative evangelical denominations, while perhaps the majority are not joining any organized religious group, the biggest problem is secularism and the ambivalence it creates toward religion and personal salvation. If at the heart of our participation in the Church isn’t personal and communal salvation and experiencing the Saving Passion of Our Lord in “The True and Perfect Sacrifice of the Mass” and receiving Him worthily in “The Sacred Banquet” then why be Catholic? Why be Christian? Why be religious? Be secular and be ambivalent about salvation and damnation. It seems to me that people are leaving the Church over those damn sinners who create the problems that the CNN report indicates are the reasons they leave. I’m sorry that the saints who don’t stay with the Church are missing out on our (us sinners who stay) salvation in the Holy Eucharist.

Either way, this is the only event that will save sinners from the punishment due their personal actual sins and Original Sin. To absent oneself intentionally from this is to die in sin and be damned! Go ahead, be ambivalent, be contrary, be absent. Freewill is a marvelous gift and a two edge sword!


Anonymous said...

You nailed it Father1

Of course CNN would publicize such 'poll' results...Why would CNN accuse themselves of participating in the real cause? The liberal, Godless media network that CNN is.

The loss of a sense of God and eternal consequences in modern societies is way more pervasive than most folks imagine it is.

Case in point: I know a currently devout Catholic who drifted away a few decades ago. His childhood was hard and lonely, plus the Church was being watered down with folk Masses and the like. There was no sense of fear/awe..i.e. nothing higher to latch on to. To quit attending Mass was very easy. No one talked about Hell at Mass anymore and the world sure didn't either. He says that if he hadn't come upon a traditionaly oriented church, if it had been like the V2 church that he drifted away from, then he wouldn't have had experienced that certain something latching on to him and pulling him in. Even after several years of being more Catholic than he ever was growing up, he is still grappling with heaven/hell... that's how deep secularism had penetrated his brain. But this time around, he's trusting the Church and not allowing himself to believe his doubts. He paticipates in the sacraments as much as he can, prays daily, prays the rosary on/off all day long, and reads the gospels daily. He fills is life with things Catholic.

That secular smoke of satan is penetrating all religions.

Perhaps a few strategically placed really big natural disasters could 'purify the air' and set mankind back on the right path. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Meanwhile, good Catholics will continue to 'carry the world'..make up for the shortfall...and perservere.
Besides, we already know the end of the story.

Anonymous said...

I can see where a couple of those might be an issue for some people. But the rest sound like excuses people use that wanted to leave anyway. It definitely sounds like CNN viewers.


Anonymous said...

The word you are trying to think of is "homophones."

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Anonymous, please do not use vernacular slurs when speaking of gay people. Thank you.

Carol H. said...

Another part of the problem is that the secularists have taken over the school systems. They claim that religion is the root of all evil, and if religion were eliminated there would be no more wars, and everyone would be more tolerant of others.

My oldest son had a hard time seperating fact from fiction when he was in high school because he was being bombarded with this filth from all sides. I bought him a book, I believe it is called HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BUILT WESTERN CIVILIZAION, and that helped alot. We also had a lot of late night talks, and I kept EWTN on TV as much as I could. I am happy he was able to bring me his doubts because I fear he would have been lost otherwise.

Another part of the problem is that we have lost our sense of being POOR IN SPIRIT. We may be living in economically hard times right now, but the fact is that we have more now than we ever had before. When people become more self reliant, they rely less on God. Then after they abandon God, when they hit hard times, instead of turning back to God for help, they turn to the government instead and ask for a handout.

I don't know what is neccessary to combat all of this secularism, but I do know that we have to fight. I pray that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church will be a beacon of TRUTH and LIGHT in this secularist darkness.

Pater Ignotus said...

While I have some sympathy with aspects of the CNN list - it does represent what those questioned said about their experience - Carol H. has a good insight.

An ethos of self-reliance prevents a person from recognizing the great need he/she has for God. If we can achieve what we want through economic or military strength, we tend to overlook the weaknesses that are part and parcel of our fallen nature. (The disciplines of Lent - prayer, fasting, and almsgiving - are precisely what is needed to help us reverse in our own lives this failure.)

Predating the Second Vatican Council, the West (Europe and the United States) were experiencing the post-WW2 boom. Catholics in particular, with the assistance of the GI Bill (in itself a very good thing) moved into the middle and upper classes, becoming economically and socially comfortable.

As long as a person thinks he can pull himself up by his own bootstraps (a popular version of Pelagianism) then he will not see a need to rely on anyone else, including God.

It is convenient to blame "godless, secularism," but it is dangerously insufficient. We might want to blame someone else, in this case the godless secularists, but there is little or nothing we can do about someone else's behavior. What we do have control over is our own behavior.

In the absence of solid religious faith, which has a powerfully humanizing power, we have fallen into a culture of confrontation which arises from the anxiety we all feel in the midst of a society that seems to be disintegrating. Confrontation is a dysfunctional mode of living, but, as any psychologist will tell you, dysfunction can be less fearful than change. (Abused spouses stay with the person abusing them.)

Finally, I suspect people tend to gravitate toward Evangelical sects because these tend to provide simple answers to complex problems. These congregations are led by people who are un-historicaland anti-scientific.

Beware the person who offers you simplistic answers to complex problems.

Father Pablo said...

Secularism has accomplished what the French Revolution and communism were not able to accomplish well: to empty out churches.

Note that even though CNN published this report, the survey was conducted by professors from Saint Joseph University in Philadelphia and Villanova, both Catholic institutions, working at the request of the Bishop of Trenton, NJ. So we can't be putting blame on CNN for publishing this if it's a report commissioned by Catholics and done by Catholics!

Henry said...

There are reasons why Catholics quit coming to Mass regularly, and eventually fall away from the Church altogether. But the real reasons are not among the seven listed by EWTN.

Mainly, because the liturgy and religious education have not transmitted the faith to them. Have never instilled in them a devotion to and love for Holy Mass. Indeed, the liturgy of the Church in recent decades has not given them good reason to attend it. Nor taught them why a mainline Protestant service might be just as good. Let alone that as Catholics they are obliged under pain of mortal sin to attend Sunday Mass-whether they like it or not, whether or not they find it "meaningful".

If the Church does not take its liturgy seriously, why (they naturally think) should they? Unfortunately, these recent generations are probably lost to the Church. They have not learned to appreciate reverent and sacred liturgy, so most likely will not be drawn back by it.

But current youth can not only be kept but set on fire by worship that's worthy of God and them. Should not the Church focus on those who can be saved?

Steven P. Millies said...

Before we pile on the secularist bogeyman again, let's pause to consider that we have omitted an alternative explanation.

It is at least possible that believers leave the Church because their disillusionment over the way the Church has abetted sexual abuse, the partisanship of the bishops, etc. has damaged or destroyed their faith.

It is at least possible that the damage done to those souls by things the Church has done is so great that they find themselves unable to believe any longer, or they find themselves distrustful of institutional religion altogether. In that case, it seems quite unlikely that they would seek out a Protestant alternative.

It seems like what we've done here has been to cherrypick the explanation most favorable to a particular worldview.

The data don't disprove the conclusion that evil, evil secularism is at fault. Neither do the data support that conclusion.

Anonymous said...

I do think that the item about divorced and remarried Catholics has validity. Some think they can't participate when they can in reality.

As happy as I am that entire Anglican /Episcopalian parishes -- priest and all -- are becoming Catholic, I have wondered if those who have had previous marriages and no annulment will have to go through the same processes that Catholics in such situations must. Even if one goes through RCIA, annulment of previous marriages is required. Perhaps I should have entered this as a question.

Pater Ignotus said...

Henry - I believe that everyone can be saved. This includes the "tax collectors and prostitutes" who are entering the Reign of God ahead of . . . us.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Steven, there is no doubt that people get hurt by others in the church, either the bishops, priests, deacons (and now more often by lay ministers in full time ministry who are more clerical and authoritarian than most clerical type priests I know and gossip more too). But at one time, I think Catholics knew how to separate the sin which they should hate from the sinner whom they must love, include the hierarchy! We have done a miserable job at teaching the basics of love let alone the more complicated aspect of it and our doctrines. But oddly enough I just finished our RCIA retreat and was speaking with one of our candidates who told me that most of her friends have never been Christian and are secularists--good people, who treat people fairly and strive to live by the Golden Rule although they wouldn't necessarily call it that. It's not just Catholics becoming independent secularists divorced from organized religion, it's people in general and the greatest teacher of them in these ways is the popular media and television shows and movies they watch--these are their evangelizers and the fierce independence of wanting to "doing it my way" which is the theme song of hell is well ingrained in them.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Ah, Ignotus/Kavanaugh. You see, you use all the key modernist terms. "Reign of God" as opposed to "Kingdom of God." Unfortunately, most lay people do not perceive the subtleties of unbelief as they are built into modernist, neo-Protestant theology-speak.
So, for the record..."Reign of God" theology has as its premise our informed and willing withdrawal of ourselves from programs, structures, and ideologies that are "self-limiting and oppressive of others." This will pave the way for the development of a (already happening) human world community where the "free self-withdrawal" (from oppressive politics like Capitalism and Republicanism) of enlightened Christians will bring about a benign world community i.e. the Reign of God.

Of course, this new twist on Protestant liberal theology is much more complicated than the above synopsis. That is because they spend so much time and so many words trying to make GWF Hegel and German idealism sound like Christian theology. Really, you have never read such crap, seriously. Do not be fooled.

Now, Kavanaugh, it is possible that your use of this term was merely coincidental. I doubt it very much. Your colors are showing and they look pink or red...

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Now, Ignotus/Kavanaugh, about the passage from Matt. 21 regarding the tax collectors and prostitutes.
Christ is speaking of unbelief, interestingly enough. The condition for the tax collectors and prostitutes entering the Kingdom of God...notice he uses that phrase, not "reign of God..." is their belief in Christ. Their sins were discounted because they repented and believed in Him, unlike the Pharisees and Scribes who considered themselves very religious but did not believe in Him who was sent.

This verse does not support universal salvation as you seem to want to imply. It quite clearly is meant to condemn unbelief and send a warning to those with all the trappings of belief, all the outward appearences of religious life, but who at heart live in unbelief. Are you listening?

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin - You are wrong. The "reign" of God is not "opposed to Kingdom of God."

"In the New Testament, the word "basileia" can be translated by "kingship" (abstract noun), "kingdom (concrete noun) or "reign" (action noun)." CCC 2816

There is nothing about unbelief here. That exists only in your mind.

For the record, "Reign of God" theology has its premise in the Scriptures.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, but the reign of God is so much like a thunderstorm!

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin - You are wrong again. I do not propose universal salvation, but I believe, as the Church teaches, at all people can be saved.

And no, I don't listen to you, as you have shown repeatedly that you don't listen to anyone save that voice in your head that keeps saying "Danger Will Robinson!" I prefer to listen to the Church than such nihilistic voices.

Marc said...

To the extent Pater was saying we should turn inward to a certain degree and focus on our own salvation, I think that is correct. We could despair over secularism or the current state of the Church. Or, we could focus on our own sinfulness and make reparation where we can. If the world will not let Christ rule, at least we can be sure we are individually letting Christ rule in our hearts.

Of course, I lay a lot of the blame for those leaving the Catholic Church at the clergy who have failed to tell people that doing so leads to Hell, a real place the clergy have neglected to discuss for the last few generations. The banality imposed on our Holy Religion is the manifestation of its inward emptiness as perceived by many in the clergy in the Vatican II generation. With the return of the Tridentine Mass from the catacombs and the counter-liturgical movement (I'm coining that phrase), young people will come back. Our hearts are restless, after all, until they rest with Christ, our God.

Young people in particular are not attracted to the banal in their worship. They want it to be spiritual and engaging. I personally believe that is why the Tridentine Mass is so popular amongst young people. But, the Novus Ordo can rise above the banal as well - Fr. McDonald has proven that with the St. Joseph Mass.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Ignotus/Kavanaugh, Pay close attention.

There is comparatively little mention of "Kingdom of God" outside the Synoptics and John. The primary usage in Christ's own words is from the Aramaic (the language he spoke)and implies a Kingdom over which He is sovreign. This Kingdom is an eschatological concept pointing clearly to His Resurrection and return at the end of historical time. The Aramaic term is far more concrete than the somewhat abstract usage "reign." Moreover, the usage "basileia" is rare and only secondary in the Gospels and is never cited, in my sources, as being used by Christ himself. So, why focus on a rarely used and secondary meaning when obviously it was not the preference of Our Savior himself..hmmmm?

Now, the point is not about Biblical theology, it is rather about the actual meaning of the phrase "reign of God" in theological usage today and the humanistic theology behind it. "Reign of God" is NOT a primary NT usage; it is not a standard usage in any text I can find, and is not even given a heading in the indices of several major NT theology texts I consulted. So, you are reaching.
"Reign of God" has a specific, neo-prot/modernist premise, which is the place you always end up.
Your theology is careless at best and silly at worst.

You implied universal salvation in your usage of the Scripture. I, too, believe all people can be saved...if they take care of a few important right belief, right worship, and right action.

Sources: "Christology of the New Testament," Cullman, Oscar

"New Testament Theology," Kummel

"Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (four volumes)."

"The Kingdom of God in the New Testament," Kummel

Henry said...

Obviously, I was talking of the generations that the Church has lost. Unfortunately, it does indeed look like they're too far gone to be saved for the Church.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin - You are wrong again. "Reign" of God is a perfectly acceptable interpretation as I noted. CCC 2816

"Reign of God" is a perfectly Catholic phrase, used by the Church, her bishops, theologians, and even a few parish priests. Shall I dig up a few quotations for your enlightenment?

I did not, in any way, suggest or infer "universal salvation." YOU brought that into the conversation.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Ignotus, You have my references and response based upon a consensus of sound Biblical and NT scholarship by some of the most respected Biblical theologians of our day. You are using a phrase that is misleading and that is not a primary usage by Our Lord in ANY context. Perhaps CCC is merely trying to be inclusive and cover every base. I'll bet those scholars know the obscurity of "reign of God," as well. Anyway, next time you stumble over the truth I'm sure you will pick yourself up and keep right on going...

Anonymous said...

I think the overarching reason for the decline in mass attendance and faithfulness in the West is due to the fact that the faith has NOT BEEN TAUGHT. Even when we talk about "Godless secularism"--which we must pillage and kill mind you--if people actually knew the faith, they'd be much less likely to leave the faith.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have access to the actual questions that were asked?
or the physical environment in which they were asked?
the age range of participants?
etc., et.c
Scientific method obligates onne to review the construct of a study to determine it's validity.
In this case, it is sufficient to recognize both all the wordly circumstances as well as the post V2 circumstances within the Church that have been going on, and know that they each had a dleeterious effect.
The real question that should be polled is "What would it take to get you back INTO church and attending Seunday Mass?"
Now, THAT poll could have possibly given some useful answers.
P.S. I still contend that secularism both had and has a greater effect than most realize

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The poor catechesis of the past 50 years (although today a bit better but not by much) certainly contributes to people abandoning the faith for secularism. There are aspects of secularism that are very appealing and quite seductive. Yesterday at our RCIA Retreat one priest said that if he lost his Christian faith, he'd become a Jew. I said, I'd become a secularist. What I find appealing is its egalitarian philosophy, treating everyone (except for Christians in general and Catholics in particular) with respect. There does seem to be the "Golden Rule" implied in many of the philosophies of secularism. There is care for the earth and not wanting to discriminate against anyone, thus the openness to all kinds of sexual situations and interpretations of marriage.
It really is a philosophy of live and let live and don't put any external constraints on me, let me make up my own mind and my own way. There is moral relativism and selectivity and none of the egalitarian live and let live ideologies applies to the unborn who are "things" to be had or discard even through the most malicious forms of murder. Secularism really is the result of having eaten from the forbidden fruit in order to make oneself "god."
The role of the Church make clear in the ministry of the bishop in which priests and deacons share is to sanctify, teach and rule. A deep faith in God, fear of hell, desire for heaven and acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the life must be foundational and an understanding of the role of the Magisterium in the areas of faith, morals and canon law. All of these seem to be very weak kneed in many post Vatican II Catholics who know nothing of the Pre-Vatican II Church and think it was corrupt and done away with after Vatican II.

Pater Ignotus said...

Once again, Good Father, you misrepresent what "one priest" said. He did not say that if he "lost his Christian faith" he would become a Jew. He said, "If I were not a Catholic, I would be a Jew."

Is your memory really that bad,or do you misrepresent what your brother priests say intentionally?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My recall is very Biblical in terms of putting an oral tradition into a written form and it is very much like our previous English Roman Missal, dynamic equivalency! And yes, the translators of that debacle of a missal intentionally changed what the Latin actually communicated.

Templar said...

I've enjoyed this conversation, especially the verbal spankings. Let your colors fly gentlemen and be judged by your words I say.

Speaking about the personal reasons why I wandered away from the Church in my past I can say I had no idea why at the time, except that there was nothing to hold me. Through all the different Priests and all the different parishes I found myself I never heard anything that touched my heart. Not for lack of listening, Lord knows I kept going back time and again because I wanted to "get it", but because it is simply not present in the vast majority of Parishes in this Diocese and every other Diocese in America. In 99 out of 100 Parishes you encounter the Mass is comical, the priest Heterodox, and the Congregation clueless.

Thank God for St Joseph.

Pater Ignotus said...

So you knowingly change what people say to you when you report it. This strikes me as rank dishonesty.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin - I am confortable using the terminology the Church herself acknowledges to be acceptable (see CCC 2816). Much of the jargon we use is "obscure," so I think that argument is pretty unconvincing.

I am convinced that if I were to say "Jesus Christ is God and man" you'd read into it what simply isn't there. However, I'd stand with the Church on that one, too.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I learned in the synoptic Gospels that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the editors who put the Gospel into writing used the tool of embellishment to make their points, that the message is what is important and its interpretation, not necessarily the facts. I'm sure you would agree with that especially as it concerns the Book of Genesis.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Ignotus, You accusing someone of dishonesty is like a mountain accusing a tree of altitude...

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Ignotus, No, it is not the obscurity, it is the fact that it is actually an incorrect usage. Now, I have a question: Why, knowing that a phrase such as "reign of God" is not the primary usage of Our Lord and also knowing that this phrase has problematic associations with modernist and neo-prot theology, would you want to use it? Why not use the much more prevalent designation and the one preferred by Christ himself, "Kingdom of God?" I do not use the term "self-renewal" as a synonym for Resurrection; I do not use the term "self-realization" as a synonym for Redemption, and I do not use the term "young girl" for Virgin like in the Good News Bible (that disgusting '60's paraphrase).
So, why do you do that? You see, that is why many of us on this Blog do not trust you. You employ all the modernist/progressive tools and terms. I believe that you are too smart and too well- educated not to know exactly what you are doing...

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father, you are not embellishing, you are fabricating.

The words you relate, in order to make a point, were not said. This is a repeat of an earlier act of dishonesty when you accused one of your brother priests of saying his congregation was too dumb to learn the meaning of the word compunction. He never said those things - you made them up to make yourself look good to your adoring fans.

These fabrications are lies, not embellishments.

Next you will tell us that Al Gore invented the internet, but excuse this lie by telling us you were merely following the style of the writers of the "historical" books of the Old Testament.

Sorry, this doesn't pass the smell test.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thanks for helping me to debunk the historical critical method of stripping the scriptures of their embellishments as both of us were taught in the seminary!

Marc said...

I was party to the conversation at issue here. I recall that Fr. Kavanaugh said, "If I were not Catholic, I would be Jewish." Fr. McDonald responded, "If I lost my faith, I would be a secular humanist."

I think Fr. McDonald was talking about losing his faith, whereas Fr. Kavanaugh was talking about if he had just never been Catholic in the first place. So, Fr. Kavanaugh is right about what was said, but I think Fr. McDonald interpreted Fr. Kavanaugh's statement in light of what Fr. McDonald was talking about (that is, losing his faith).

Fr. Kavanaugh, it was a pleaure meeting you in person on Saturday. For everyone's information, we did not have a fist-fight. In fact, in the context of a very interesting discussion on secularization and modern atheism, we agreed on the importance of having a proper understanding of history and science in terms of strenghthening one's faith, as opposed to being anti-science as many Protestants tend to be.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thank you Marc for your eye witness account and interpretation. Yes, I took it as a loss of faith, since my comment on my perspective if I lost my faith, I would become a secularist. There are many good aspects of secularism and if one wasn't Catholic, didn't believe in natural law and wanted full equality for everyone, except of course, the unborn and the elderly, then being a secularists is very appealing because you become your own god--a new paganism or new agnosticism. But in addition you do show how the the oral tradition of Scripture when put into writing could have been flawed by the perceptions of the one writing out the oral tradition according to a particular theology that the Holy Spirit inspired. The message is what is inspired if in fact all the details could be wrong or perceptions of those particular details.

Anonymous said...

I work with two ex-Catholics (one likes to call himself a recovering Catholic) and they both cited a priest as their reason for leaving the church. One had a priest who was drunk all the time, the other had a priest who didn't care about his parishioners' concerns. I've been blessed with wonderful priests since I converted, but I can understand how they can become disillusioned in that situation.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I can certainly understand people leaving the church over being abused by a priest in a sexual way and bishops handling these cases as they did. Heck I am still bewildered by it. It is a scandal of the highest order!
But I know I was taught as far back as elementary school that the Church did not depend on bishops and priests who were holy only, that even a corrupt priest could still validly celebrate the sacraments if he did so validly following the rubrics. What was important was being at the Sacrifice of the Mass for what Christ does for us in that celebration and our worhty reception of Him in Holy Communion--Christ alone is all holy and Christ alone saves us! If we belong to the Church becasue of the people who go there or the priests who are there over some childish notion that there isn't sin and evil within the laity and clergy and sometimes in the most demonic and despicalbe ways, that we are childish in our faith, we need to grow up. But I can't help but believe that so many in the Post-Vatican II Church were taught a Kumbaya understanding of Church as this loving community of hand holding hippies who would never harm anyone--oh that it would be so, be wise as serpents is what Jesus teaches church members about others in the Church, both clergy and laity. That's what keeps me Catholic, not the members of the Church but her head, Christ Jesus!

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

If the Catholic Church ultimately gives in to secular humanism and progressivism, I will find an SSPX Church. If they go to Hell, too, I will find an Eastern Rite Church of some ddescription. If they aslso go to Hell, I will find a splinter Calvinist/Reformed Church that rejects the abominations of main stream Protestantism. If all else fails, I will become a weird Holy Man and live in the desert or the swamp with the animals and my visions.