Thursday, October 03, 2013

Pope Francis: Shouldn't it be a welcoming Church for all?

It was the philosopher George Santayana who described Modernism thusly: " the love of all Christianity in those who perceive that it is all a fable. It is the historic attachment to his Church of a Catholic who has discovered that he is a pagan...The Modernists are men of the Renaissance, pagan, pantheistic in their profounder sentiment, to whom the hard and narrow realism of official Christianity is offensive just because it presupposes that Christianity is true...As for Modernism, it is suicide. It is the last of those concessions to the spirit of the world which half-believers and double-minded prophets have always been found making; but it is a mortal concession. It concedes everything; for it concedes that everything in Christianity, as Christians hold it, is an illusion." But because the Magisterium faithfully passes down the Tradition of Catholic Teaching received from the Apostles, Santayana, commenting on the modernists' opposition to Rome, notes, "The modernist feels himself full of love for everybody...except for the Pope."

And one might add: those Catholics who are faithful to the Tradition of Catholic teaching.

In an essay on the meaning of evangelization, Father Vincent Miceli, S.J. wrote, "Being the work of God and man in cooperation, it must ever be a thrilling and awesome adventure. We can say, however, that this sanctifying activity proclaims Christ to those who do not know Him, preaches the Gospel to them through catechesis and missionary sermons, confers Baptism and other sacraments and tirelessly exhorts converts to scale the heights of sanctity. Jesus Christ, Himself, the Good News of God, was the very first and greatest evangelizer. He proclaimed an absolute Kingdom of God, making everything else relative. He proclaimed salvation, namely liberation from sin, Satan, death, a liberation that bestowed upon sinners returned to God grace, resurrection in immortality and glorification in the triune God. He proclaimed the price man must pay for his salvation, namely that men must gain Heaven by violence, i.e., through a life of penance, toil, and suffering accepted in the spirit of the Suffering Servant of God. And above all He proclaimed that man must undergo that interior renewal which the Gospel calls metanoia, that is the radical change of heart and mind which destroys 'the old man of sin' and creates 'the new man of grace.'"

Fr. Miceli then explains that there are obstacles to evangelization. He writes, "St Thomas Aquinas teaches that three things are necessary for a soul to find, follow and embrace Christ. First, a person must know what he ought to believe. Second, he must know what he ought to desire. Third, he must know what he ought to do. Now ignorance is the first great obstacle to evangelization. Catholics, therefore, should grow in a profound knowledge of their Faith through a constant reading and reflection on the Gospels and a faithful following of the teachings of the Magisterium. Only thus will they come to appreciate the Catholic Faith as a gift of God that is true, good and beautiful. They then will be moved by the Holy Spirit to bring non-Catholics to share this gift from God with them..."

Finally, surveying the Catholic Church in the United States, Fr. Miceli writes, "Unfortunately, the fact is that the Church in the United States, instead of being the crusading, courageous, evangelizing society Christ founded it to be, has become a cream-puff chaplaincy to the converted - and because of this attitude is failing to hold on even to these...How are we to stir up again the spirit of evangelization? Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi gives us our marching orders:

'On us particularly, the pastors of the Church, rests the responsibility for reshaping with boldness and wisdom, but in complete fidelity to the content of evangelization, the means that are most suitable and effective for communicating the Gospel message to the men and women of our times.'" (Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, citing Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi, No. 40).

Note this passage. What does Pope Paul VI mean by "complete fidelity to the content of evangelization"? The Holy Father means that pastors of the Church must offer the men and women of our times what Pope Benedict XVI has said is the entire plan of God. That is to say, the full content of Catholic teaching - including, and especially, those hard truths which the world does not want to hear but which faithful Catholics must share with hurting souls who wander about without a shepherd. This is what evangelization is all about!

And because I insist upon preaching these hard truths, I am shunned at my own parish and not even permitted to apply for the diocesan priesthood!  Just recently, Pope Francis said that, "In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them."

It's good to see that the Holy Father is concerned for homosexual persons who have not always been treated with "respect, compassion, and sensitivity" as the Catechism calls for (2358).  But what about faithful Catholics whose vocation is rejected outright simply because they preach the hard truths - what Pope Benedict XVI referred to as "the entire plan of God" - and who also insist, along with the Catechism, that homosexual persons (like everyone else) "are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition"?

Not long ago, I was part of a group of Catholic bloggers accused by the Boston Archdiocese of "harming community" by opposing dissent from revealed Catholic teaching as well as a "Gay Pride" Mass.  See here.   How much longer must faithful Catholics tolerate such nonsense?


Jonathan said...

I feel about as welcome as the Bubonic plague at my parish. But then I'm not agitating for sodomy, women priests and killing children in the womb either.

Anonymous said...

Leland said...

A masonic pope for a new age? More and more Catholics are suspecting there is something amiss.

Anonymous said...

From the Worcester Diocesan Dispatch for September 30, 2013:


On October 27 at 6 p.m., Dr. Thomas Groome will present “Passing on the Gift of Faith” at St. Rose of Lima Church, 244 W. Main Street (Rt. 20), Northboro. It will be preceded by Mass at 5 p.m. for all who would like to attend. This presentation, part of the parish’s Year of Faith efforts, will discuss how we can pass on our faith to children and other adults in challenging times. Professor Groome is chair of the Dept. of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College. All are welcome.

Meredity said...

We are on a masonic plan to reduce the Church to a humanitarian "gospel" as you have warned for years Paul. For this pope to suggest that preaching the truth about abortion, homosexuality and contraception will result in the Church falling like a "house of cards" is chilling.

In other words, this pope is saying that Gospel truths just cannot compete against secular values and that the world, the flesh and the devil are stronger than the Church.

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