Friday, October 04, 2013

Why You Should Be a Catholic!

I stumbled across this article while reading on Triablogue...

I'm Still Not Going Back to the Catholic Church
- Rod Dreher
It’s not hard to understand why people are so excited about Pope Francis. Since his sensational interview last week, many have said that with his personal warmth and determination to put doctrine in the background, Francis is just the man to bring a lot of fallen-away Catholics back into the church.

Maybe. But I’m an ex-Catholic whose decision to leave the Catholic Church is not challenged by Francis’ words but rather confirmed.

Just over two decades ago, when I began the process to enter the Roman Catholic Church as an adult convert, I chose to receive instruction at a university parish, figuring that the quality of teaching would be more rigorous. After three months of guided meditations and endless God is love lectures, I dropped out.

I agreed that God is love, but that didn’t tell me what He would expect of me if I became a Catholic. Besides, I had spent four years dancing around the possibility of returning to the Christianity of my youth. When I made my first steps back to churchgoing as an adult, I found plenty of good people who told me God is love but who never challenged me to change my life.

Dear Rod,
You left the Catholic Church for all the wrong reasons.  Church and religion is not supposed to be for what YOU get out of it - but what you give TO GOD.  It saddens me that you received such poor catechesis.  The very basic catechetical questions are:
1. Q: Who made you?
A:  God made me.

6. Q: Why did God make you?
A: To know, love and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

9. Q. What must we do to save our souls?
A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart.

10. Q. How shall we know the things which we are to believe?
A. We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic Church, through which God speaks to us.

11. Q. Where shall we find the chief truths which the Church teaches?
A. We shall find the chief truths which the Church teaches in the Apostles' Creed.

The Apostles Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. 
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. 
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. AMEN.
(Baltimore Catechism)

Certainly God is love - and a true understanding of love does not, or should not anyway, leave you feeling as though you don't have to change anything to be a Catholic.  Jesus saved you while you were yet a sinner and if you truly accept His gift of salvation, then you cannot remain in your sin - there are demands which God makes of you and are taught through His Church which He built as He promised He would do in Matthew 16:18-19.

Pope Francis did not say you didn't have to change to BE a Catholic!  What he said is that we, Catholics, don't need to be beating everyone over the head with their sins before they've even accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Pope Francis said that the "first proclamation" needs to be that of the Gospel message of salvation and well, let's put it in his words:
I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.
Note especially that last sentence!  "Then we can talk about everything else."  He didn't say we don't talk about these things and that we won't deal with those sins - but let's get the injured soul into the hospital first, THEN work on the healing of his wounds/sins.  BEING a Catholic involves "talking about everything else."

You left Catholicism for Orthodoxy...  which fundamentally speaking, you're still a Catholic in every way except in recognition of the Bishop of Rome's position in the Universal Church.  Regardless of what priests, bishops, even popes say as theologians (private or otherwise) the fundamental dogmas of Catholicism are still part of Orthodoxy.  

That being said, what your Orthodox priest said is true in how we are to express love and compassion to our children.  That truth is not limited to Orthodoxy!  Would it be nice if more Catholic priests preached that way?  Certainly!  I must say too - if I may be a bit anecdotal with you - I have witnessed many Catholic priests who DO preach that message!  

Again, not hearing that message in that way is not really a reason to abandon the Catholic Faith and the Chair of Peter.  While I am thankful that you are still participating in a valid Eucharist in the Divine Liturgy, I am saddened that you are separated from Christ's vicar.  I urge you to return to the Catholic Faith and help us make it better!  We NEED more Catholics who know what the Faith is and HOW it is supposed to be preached!  Come home.


1 comment:

  1. Back in 30 AD Rod would've bailed after seeing the antics of Peter & Judas.


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