Monday, December 14, 2015
SMALLER BUT PURER CHURCH OR SMALLER BUT POORER CHURCH?
Pope Francis from the moment of his election as advocated for a poorer Church. Does this mean she will also be a purer Church if the rich don't get their way?
For example, the parish in Charlotte that wants to oust their Orthodox, maybe somewhat rigid new pastor for his restorationist agenda has led people who disapproved of his actions to stop giving. That's the threat today from some parishioners who want to control this, that and the other. If they can't be in control then they won't give. Nice, no?
Prior to Vatican II it was thought quite healthy and holy for Catholics to pray, financially support their parish and the larger Church and to obey the Magisterium in the areas of Faith and Morals.
After Vatican II, there was a push to treat the laity as "adults" rather than "children" and thus what was perfectly evangelical (although that term would not have been used back then) was demeaned as childish: "Pray, Pay and Obey" became the snarky mantra of liberal progressives demanding adult Catholics to take their rightful place of power and control in the parish and the Church. If they weren't empowered or given control then they won't pay and maybe not even pray and certainly not obey. Nice, no?
Over the years I have known pastors who have experienced what I have experienced, although infrequently, praise God, where a parishioner would not give because they didn't like, this, that or the other. Sometimes these were rich people who disengaged from the parish financially. Nice, no?
If a rich person thinks praying, paying and obeying are demeaning to them, then maybe we should give them the freedom, encourage them if they have this mentality not to give us their money. We would have to go without it.
This means the parish will be poorer but purer. It wouldn't genuflect to the rich class in the parish if this means relinquishing the legitimate authority of the priesthood.
Pope Francis might be onto something as was Pope Benedict. It isn't easy going from large, mega parishes with rich people ruling the roost to smaller parishes with the poor placed first.
The poor are the one who have been deprived of the Church's true teachings, spirituality, and solemn, reverent worship. The poor are more open to praying, supporting the Church financially and obeying. Blessed are the poor in spirit, the Kingdom of God is theirs.