Sunday, July 5, 2015

"WHEREVER TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED IN MY NAME"

How successful will the Church be in keeping Catholics Catholic and handing on the Catholic Faith to new more liberal generations?

I've been wondering that myself. We know many Catholics of the past two or three generations simply are not well formed in what the Church teaches and just Who (Jesus) is the Source of these teachings and the obligation of Catholics to accept everything the Catholic Church teaches as revealed by God (in the areas of Faith and morals of course).

I don't know how accurate this gloat from a gay activist, Sally Kohn writing in the Daily Beast is, but I print it anyway:

"The Episcopalian Church embraced gay marriage this week. Earlier this year, the Presbyterian Church (USA) affirmed its support for marriage equality, joining many other major Christian denominations that officially endorse LGBT rights. And according to an April 2015 poll, majorities of congregants within many Christian faith traditions support marriage equality—including 60 percent of all Catholics, 52 percent of all orthodox Christians and 62 percent of white mainline Protestants. They’re joined by 94 percent of Unitarian Universalists and 77 percent of all Jews. 

Perhaps most strikingly, 64 percent of self-identified Millennial evangelicals support same-sex marriage. As the literal future of orthodox Christianity, it would be hard to paint their views as at odds with such orthodoxy. Rather, they are a portrait of that future—not of a post-Christian America, but a post-homophobic Christianity. That is the “new normal” that Obergefall does not singularly usher in but merely reflects. The world has changed. Christians and Christianity has changed, too. And again, I say, “Hallelujah!”

 Will anti-gay Christians be politically and socially ostracized? I sure hope so. Just as those orthodox Christians who still believe in strict, traditional gender roles have been increasingly mocked as absurd."

My comments: What impact will society's acceptance of same sex marriage have on the Church, espcially when fascists like Sally Kohn have their way and America becomes like Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy prior to World War II. Back then the ideologies that wrecked havoc on the world were right wing. The ideologies today that will wreck havoc on America are left-wing.

Does it matter if the Church is large or small, accepted or persecuted? Does it matter if the Church (meaning her members) are faithful or unfaithful? 

I ask you answer!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

When asked what he thought about a famous football player living an active homosexual lifestyle, Cardinal Dolan responded "Bravo". Before you start with the charity stuff, Cardinal Dolan said that on television, and he has let that statement stand with no correction or clarification.

Let's be honest. The Church is in the shambles it is in because of shepherds like Dolan, Wuerl, Mahoney, Bernandin etc.

Our bishops use to be fearless men who taught the truth in good times and in bad and demanded that their priests do the same. Those days are long gone.

The Church possess the fullness of Truth. Instead of teaching this Truth they are happy to compromise it at every turn. They bow to the altars of modernism, Americanism, and Protestantism. They go out of their way to not appear to "Catholic". They have been reduced to spineless, effeminate men who would think nothing of wearing a foam cheese hat during Mass, be anointed by a female Protestant minister, be "blessed" by pagan clergy, allow giant puppets, balloons during Mass etc. These men will allow priests like Michael Phlager to spread error and scandal for decades. They have allowed Catholic education to become infested with heresy. They have stood by while the Catholic Faith has been betrayed. These men protected evil priests who raped children. They did nothing to stop it for decades. But let a priest from Holy Innocents in NYC publicly say that traditional Catholics need to be more vocal and stand up for what they believe in and that priest will be deported and sent to a war zone. Much like what David did to the husband of the wife he wanted to commit adultery with. Not that the bishops have a problem with adultery. But that's another issue. The collapse of the Faith lies 100% at the feet of unfaithful men who have betrayed Christ, caused scandal and purposely destroyed the Faith of millions. What has happened in the Church was not done by accident. It was done on purpose. And the confusion has been ratcheted up since the election of the present pope. These men may be exalted by the world at present but one day they will all die. In the end the Immaculate Heart will triumph. God will not be mocked. Do these men have no fear of God? I would say no.

Supertradmum said...

The Pope Emeritus, in a famous interview in 1963, a long time ago, stated that the future of the Church would be small isolated communities of the faithful in a sea of unbelief....When I read this, I took him seriously, which is why recently I wrote against triumphalism on my blog. Too many Catholics are too comfortable with the idea of always having the sacraments. Just wait....and those priests and laity who compromise, will have to answer to God. I, for one, will follow Christ and His Church, not any man-made congregation--the one, true, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

Loony Lefebvrian said...

Take a chill pill. There's nothing remotely "fascist" about the Sally Kohn passage you quote. It simply notes how public opinion has changed on this issue, including Catholics' opinion. (And 60 percent seems high, although I've seen several polls that say "most" Catholics support the same-sex marriage ruling or at least are not troubled by it.

There's nothing "fascist" about suggesting that churches' teachings change and that the old teachings seem silly or wrong with the passage of time.

Down through history, the Catholic churches supported slavery, the vilest anti-Semitism and second-rate status for women who could be beaten or treated as a husband's property. Other churches like the Southern Baptists, supported Jim Crow segregation and bans on interracial marriage, because it was "God's will."

Nowadays, of course, we all see those things as wrong and people who would promote those positions would be mocked and ostracized. God can't give you a world that won't change and where nobody will disagree with you.

I'm not suggesting that the church will change its position on SSM -- I doubt it will anytime soon.

But in this country, we have the right to complain and criticize, which is the exact opposite of fascism.

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it does."

Anonymous said...

Father, you are right that, with a few exceptions, Catholics have not been catechised properly since Vatican II and so we are seeing the fruits of it now. However, the fullness of the Catholic Faith and her spirituality is being passed on by the traditional orders and so the Faith will grow from there. Pope Benedict is on record as saying that the Church will become smaller but purer in belief.

Jan

Anonymous said...

Before I posted my comments I hadn't read Anonoymous at 6.36 AM. What is said in that post I totally agree with. Pope John Paul The Great said some years ago that we were in the 14th Book of the Apocalypse. We also have Catholic prophecy from many saints, including Blessed Anne Katherine Emmerich who said she had a vision where she saw that many bishops and priests were engaged in building a Church without the help of the angels, that many of the faithful were not receiving the body and blood of Christ but God saw the intentions of their hearts and made up for the lack of sacrifice. She said that these men build up this false church to a point where they think they have it the way they want it but it is all pulled to the ground. Some years ago people might have read this prophecy and discounted it but now that much of the Church is Catholic in name only it seems to be coming to pass.

Jan

rcg said...

This sort of rhetoric is only strange to our ears. It has happened in the past, not all that distant, only outside of the living memory of most people today. Withdrawing from society is contrary to our charter as Catholcs; and it is obvious that assimilating has been a disaster for us. We have to find our own way and openly show it as an alternative to others who feel abandoned by society. We have the strange comfort that when this woman plans to mock us in His name that we are more certain of our position.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous,

What you seem not to realize is that in the present hostile environment, the Church must employ wise, gradual tactics to win souls. Preaching to the choir, so to speak, won't help. We must first convince lost souls that Jesus is the Savior, then we convince them that He established the Catholic Church to teach, sanctify and govern, then we begin forming them in the fullness of truth concerning faith and morals. One step at a time.

Making public statements of condemnation will not move the un-converted closer to Christ or His Church, even if such public condemnations would make you feel better.

Loony Lefebvrian said...

Anonymous Jan seems to be suggesting that most Catholics are not opposed to same-sex relationships because they are not properly catrchized and, apparently, don't know that the church is opposed. Which of course is absurd.
Most Catholics measure the angry anti-gay rants they hear from conservatives against the people they know -- their friends, their family members, their co-workers or neighbors -- and decide they are not monsters or sub-humans or criminals. They see that gay marriage has gone on for years in some states without damaging the institution (states where the divorce rate is much lower than places like Georgia).
The anti-gay diatribes don't make sense to them because it doesn't match the evidence of their own eyes.
If it wants to win over its own members, the church needs to be more persuasive. "Because I said so" doesn't win many arguments and that's what's led us to the current poll results.

Anonymous said...

Talking with someone this morning who was at Atlanta's (Episcopal) Cathedral of St. Philip, and he said the dean' sermon this morning was in support of the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision and the same-sex marriage ruling. But only 107 in attendance he reported....granted this is 4th of July weekend but that seems pretty small attendance for a cathedral that sits about 1,200. Maybe preaching like the dean's is the reason nearly half the Episcopal Church's members have fled since the LBJ presidency....

George said...

Anonymous:
"I'm not suggesting that the church will change its position on SSM -- I doubt it will anytime soon."
>The Church if it remains true to it'd teaching cannot change on this.

Loony Lefebvrian:
"Anonymous Jan seems to be suggesting that most Catholics are not opposed to same-sex relationships because they are not properly catechized and, apparently, don't know that the church is opposed."

>I know someone who attends a large Catholic church in the Atlanta archdiocese who related to me how appalled she was at the lack of catechesis even among those who were cradle Catholics educated in parochial schools. When you read the results of these polls, how many that are included are those who have fallen away from the faith?

Anonymous 2 said...

Dialogue and LL:

You both make some very good points with which I agree completely. As any good rhetorician knows, you have to know your audience and adapt your rhetoric accordingly. St. Paul, of course, understood this very well, and so became all things to all men, employing the particular categories, concepts, and approaches through which he could best reach any given group of people. This is one main reason I have been so insistent on trying to have empathy for the situation of gays and lesbians, for which of course I have been roundly attacked by some of the more strident posters on this blog and accused of all kinds of things. Without such empathy, however, the cause is lost at the outset because those one seeks to persuade will be alienated and retreat to the psychological barricades immediately.

This said, I do think we need to be aware of the phenomenon that many call “political correctness.” Although I do not necessarily regard it as fascistic, it is true that unless one is very careful one can provoke a strong negative reaction. I have experienced this myself on occasion as I unwittingly used terminology (the now disfavored word “homosexuals” for example – “gays and lesbian” is apparently the acceptable terminology) or suggested empathy for those with religious reservations about same sex marriage (I did not fully realize that not all Christians opposed to same sex marriage are as charitable as the Catholic Church). Those who reacted to what I said were doubtless reacting out of years of hurt and offense. But they were very respectful towards me because anyone who knows me will know that I would never intentionally say something offensive or hurtful. I appreciated the correction because now I can be more effective in defending the Church’s position without such distractions getting in the way.

The Greek said...

There's nothing remotely "fascist" about the Sally Kohn passage you quote. It simply notes how public opinion has changed on this issue'

Yeah, because Kohn's statement, Will anti-gay Christians be politically and socially ostracized? I sure hope so. 'simply notes how public opinion has changed on this issue'.

Sounds like,'You will accept the King's marriage to Anne Boleyn, or lose your head.'

Anonymous said...

Loony Lefebvrian is obviously just very out of touch. I have friends who went to primary and secondary Catholic schools after Vatican II - who were taught by nuns and priests - who say they weren't taught that a Catholic couldn't marry a divorced person in the Church. I can count on my left hand the number of times I have heard a sermon on morality. I have never heard a sermon stating that homosexuality was wrong. In 30 years I have only heard one mention of morality when a letter was read out from the bishops saying that living together was a sin. The people in the pews looked stunned. Why? I imagine because many of them have family or are themselves living together. I can go as far as to say that I know of one priest who told someone that living together was a sin and there was a complaint made to the bishop who censured the priest. In that kind of climate if people are never told these things, yes, they are going to get the lowdown from friends and accept immorality as being okay. The only place Catholics are likely to be told such things are wrong are in a sermon at a Tridentine Mass where I have heard priests speak against immorality.

Jan

George said...

Anonymous2:
So either "gay" or "lesbian" is the nom préféré. To be fair, it needs to be likewise understood that the term heterosexual is used instead of straight. This is good to know, but it should be understood that when the term homosexual is used, it is not necessarily with a derogative intent.

John Nolan said...

Fascism was a progressive 20th century political movement which grew out of disillusionment with traditional political structures, exacerbated by the Great War. It had much in common with its mirror image, Bolshevism; both movements were revolutionary, and it makes no sense to describe one as right-wing and the other as left-wing. Mussolini, a former Marxist, modelled his Fascist state on Lenin's Bolshevist one.

The case for 'gay marriage' is presented not as a moral issue, but as a case for fairness, tolerance and equality, which are the only moral imperatives pushed in schools, whether Catholic or non-Catholic. In Ireland all parties except for the ultra-Protestant DUP supported it; this included the most reactionary Republican party Sinn Fein (the political wing of the IRA). To suggest that the Irish voted 'for sodomy' is absurd. There was no doubt an element of protest against the institutional Church; the Irish hierarchy is probably the worst in Europe. German bishops may be heterodox but at least are well-educated.

I don't judge individuals by what they get up to in the privacy of their own bedrooms - this is no concern of mine. This does not imply an acceptance of immorality, but when immoral values are given a moral spin by secular governments and people are expected to meekly fall into line or be branded 'bigots', this is a different matter. There are times when the Church is called upon to be counter-cultural, and this is one of them. The over-optimistic ethos of Gaudium et Spes is now shown to be hollow, and the entire Council and its ambiguous documents will come under increasing scrutiny and criticism during the course of this century. As, of course, will be its baleful legacy. The fiftieth anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium was hardly greeted with unalloyed joy and if there is any discernible liturgical movement at the moment it is towards a revival and re-appreciation of pre-Conciliar tradition. A new generation of liturgical scholars has replaced that of fifty years ago.

Keep calm and carry on.

rcg said...

I would only argue with John's characterization of Bolshevism and fascism as mirror images of each other because that implies they are opposite or contrary. They are in fact a matching pair of jack boots worn by the same thug who only favors his own left or right as it suits him. There is a wonderful museum dedicated to the First World War, erected when It was still The Great War. It is in Kansas City so is a bit out of most people's way, but they get right the source of the misery that caused the War and fed the Bolsheviks and Fascists was Progressivism.

Anonymous 2 said...

Rcg:

“Bolshevism and fascism . . . are in fact a matching pair of jack boots worn by the same thug who only favors his own left or right as it suits him.”

Quite so! As George Orwell cautioned in “1984”:

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.”

Orwell was, of course, chastened by both Fascism/Nazism and Bolshevism.



JusadBellum said...

I encourage everyone to spend about 30 minutes on Wikipedia reading the accounts of the bloody persecutions of the Church in the following countries to see the similarities, the length and scope of the bloodshed and how ultimately the Church rose from the catacombs due in large part to unsupported laity evangelizing the culture via faithful marriage and strong families.

Germany
England/Ireland
France
Italy
Spain
Poland
Portugal
Mexico
China
Japan
Korea
Vietnam

In every case, the authorities used their police and army to arrest bishops, priests, and key laity. Some they martyred. Others they expelled. Others they kept in torment and held for ransom. Most 'above ground' institutions were seized or destroyed, driving the survivors underground. Rewards were given for informants and cruel punishments for anyone who admitted faith. Civic festivities were organized to force participation and create a litmus test to weed out who would or would not apostasize. These persecutions did not end because of Catholic militias rising up or because bishops, priests and religious suddenly became saints. They ended when they did only when the elites died off and the next generation was converted by the surviving remnant of laity whose lives of holiness and virtue impressed the pagans who wondered what all the fuss of their ancestors was about.

Given this historical track record from around the world, I think it's almost a given that we will face increased hostility from the federal, state, and local government in a rising tide of social and cultural hostility to the faith and morals of Christianity. Eventually punishing laws and codes and auto-de-fes and star chambers will be employed and finally direct physical violence as the 'final solution'. Only our grand children will live to see the faith again liberated and free.

But not for that ought we be tempted to give up. The only solution is direct person to person evangelization of all neighbors and strangers. Those hostile to the faith will hate us and attack us regardless of what we do so we might as well go 'full retard' in direct evangelization as laity.... promoting devotions, prayer groups, bible studies, men, and women's groups etc. to broaden the base of Christians as much as possible and as fast as possible.

The bloody persecution ALWAYS comes via political control of the means of production, finance and security apparatus... so by staying engaged politically and keeping or promoting friendships among the police and army we stand a far better chance of avoiding total defeat than if we instead back out of politics and go hunker in bunkers....

Anonymous 2 said...

JusadBellum:

Did any of the persecutions you list (and I looked up a couple) occur in liberal democracies? For all the railing against modernism, the Enlightenment, and liberal democracy (and I am myself quite critical of certain features), one of the gifts we have received in the liberal tradition is the blessing of religious tolerance. Perhaps I am just naïve but as long as our form of government remains that of liberal democracy, I doubt very much that the dystopic vision you paint will be realized:

“Given this historical track record from around the world, I think it's almost a given that we will face increased hostility from the federal, state, and local government in a rising tide of social and cultural hostility to the faith and morals of Christianity. Eventually punishing laws and codes and auto-de-fes and star chambers will be employed and finally direct physical violence as the 'final solution'. Only our grand children will live to see the faith again liberated and free.

. . . Those hostile to the faith will hate us and attack us regardless of what we do so we might as well go 'full retard' in direct evangelization as laity.... promoting devotions, prayer groups, bible studies, men, and women's groups etc. to broaden the base of Christians as much as possible and as fast as possible.”

I support the idea of evangelization and of remaining socially and politically engaged but not out of fear. Okay, the Church has lost some battles in the public square in the area of sexual morality. It is not the end of the world. And it is not the end of the Church. As I have said before, the immediate task now is to defend the religious liberty guaranteed in liberal democracy under the rule of law.


Moreover, I am just as troubled by religious fanatics as I am by secular ideological fanatics, maybe even more so because they claim to act in the name of God. Isn’t it amazing how each side claims God is on_their_ side and against the other side(s)? Logically, at most only one can be correct, and they all think they are that one. Historically, “true believers” of any stripe do not act well when they have political power.


The Greek said...

Yes, Anonymous 2, Spain and Mexico were democracies when those states began their persecutions of the Catholic Church. In both cases, the persecution was a way of breaking the Church's power of society, whilst also divorcing it from public life. Portugal, too, did the same thing, for mostly the same reasons.

I suppose own could draw a distinction here between 'liberal democracy' versus a 'republic', but even the US is a republic. In the three cases above, part of 'liberalisation' was the destruction of the Church as a public institution on par with the government, as it had been under the monarchies of Spain and Portugal, and making it an institution responsible to the State. In Mexico, it shared a similar role, but after the adoption of its 1917 constitution, that relationship no longer existed, and the Calles (an atheist) government in particular wanted to do all it could to minimise the Church's influence in Mexican life.

I'll add that modern France is a prime example of 'hostile secularity', where, for example, students who wear religious symbols (which under the law includes head-scarves, crosses, and kippahs) may be expelled. It should also be noted that in 1905 France declared most Church properties to be state-owned properties. Once again, I don't know if you'd consider France a 'liberal democracy'.

Anonymous 2 said...

Greek:

Thank you for your response. This is interesting. Being somewhat of a student of Francis Fukayama (although taking issue with some of his claims), I should have known better and referred to “stable liberal democracies” not regimes formed in reaction to perceived excesses of the Church in supporting dictatorships or other severe oppression and that then themselves fell in and out of dictatorship and/or civil war.

Indeed, given their historical background, one could almost say that stable liberal democracies are defined by the place of religion in their societies and that this place is largely “private” even though the religions “voice” may be admitted into the public square of the neutral state. France is an extreme version of such privatization.

The point, of course, is that the United States is a stable liberal democracy (or republic if you will) and one certainly cannot draw necessary inferences from the political experience of unstable regimes such as Spain in the 1930s or Mexico in the 1920s as Jus would have us do. Context is everything.

Flavius Hesychius said...

religions “voice” may be admitted into the public square of the neutral state. France is an extreme version of such privatization.

In France, that voice is most certainly not allowed. I am of the mind that, much like the currently-fashionable 'hate speech' legislation, France's 'laïcité' puts so much a burden for secularity that it actually impedes free religious exercise.

The point, of course, is that the United States is a stable liberal democracy (or republic if you will) and one certainly cannot draw necessary inferences from the political experience of unstable regimes such as Spain in the 1930s or Mexico in the 1920s as Jus would have us do. Context is everything.

I agree. I was merely giving examples. I share your point of view; persecution is not nigh. Thirty years from now, however, may be a different story.

The Greek said...

I don't disagree, Anonymous 2. I don't think persecution is nigh. Thirty years from now may be very different.

The Greek said...

Please note: the comment under posted under Flavius is mine; he was logged in, and I failed to mark the appropriate box. I am using his computer.

Whoops.