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Comfortable in our Catholic Skin: Reject Triumphalism, Embrace the Call to Christian Unity Comments

Triumphalism is not the way toward Christian unity. It is not being comfortable in our Catholic skin. We need to reject it. One of the most difficult obstacles in making progress toward the visible unity of the Church is the reticence of some Catholics to accept the leadership of the Magisterium, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the clear teaching of the Catholic Church on its priority. Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 33 Comments

  1. Una Fides
    1 year ago

    In response to the above article: As in typical Catholic fashion there is an essential "both and" which must be applied to understand and approach this correctly both in spirit and in truth. The author seems to be attempting to apply a spirit, an ecumenical spirit borne out of post conciliar practices and approaches. Authentically the spirit of ecumenism seeks uniting all in the fullness of truth, which can only be found in the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. Therein lies the truth of the matter, which as has been employed by every successor of St Peter since and including St Peter himself. Additionally, the comment that the author is responding to needs to also be tested according to not only an ecumenical spirit but also as to whether or not the statement is true. All ecumenical activity--if it is to be authentic and truly promote a return of others to the unity of the one true Church--must be rooted and grounded entirely in the fullness of the truth, and not in vague statements that lead others into error. The statement that "The cast must be Catholic if they have an 'authentic Christian Faith'" is absolutely true. While it may not sound "nice" and warm and fuzzy and friendly and though it may not provoke a positive response from the non-Catholic reader, it nonetheless is true authentic Catholic teaching, and these truths cannot be blurred or misrepresented in order to appease others or establish a false unity, rooted in error. As Scripture teaches, the Catholic Church is "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim 3:15). Just as the Israelites were guided in the OT by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, so we are to be guided by this pillar of truth. Anyone who detracts from this truth in order to try to win others to it, does them a disservice. Thus, one must be extremely careful before throwing around compliments to non-Catholics that are not true, even if done with a friendly spirit or otherwise with the best of intentions.

  2. Ann Malley
    1 year ago

    Emma: Thanks for getting back. And for explaining the whys and wherefores of your comments to Michael. That said, you make a very sound point about those folks who would lead us away from the Church having certain knowledge of Her.

    Sadly it is not the historic likes of Stalin (a former seminarian), Hitler (a baptized Catholic), Martin Luther (an apostate priest who encouraged folks to sin boldly and married a nun), or Henry VIII (the former 'Defender of the Faith' who turned on the Faith to form his own church wherein he could indulge his desire for women and the land and property of the Church) that we really need to watch out for.

    If the Devil puts on his red silk suit with horns and pitchfork, you will recognize him and stay the heck away. It is when that same individual puts on the clothes of a regular Joe Catholic and talks human logic, reason, and all manner of sophistry shot through with false charity that a body needs to watch out. Why? Because it is the rebellion within that is most dangerous -- the rebellion within ourselves and the rebellion within the walls of our own Church masked beneath the notion of false unity.

    Love of our own opinion/desires is one starting point. Growing wearing of what the Church requires of us because it is darned hard at times is another: That said, the poster that Michael responded to stated firstly that, "She should have married her Protestant husband as a Protestant instead of encouraging him to become Catholic first."

    While this sounds ecumenical and trusting and unafraid, it is also foolish 'if-only' fantasizing. It also goes against the sixth precept of the church, or at least what the sixth precept used to be before the ‘pick-up-on-isle-seven’ disaster that has led to us doing nothing but damage control. (The after math of an earthquake we invited ourselves.) Just look at the supposed statistics of the number of Catholics as compared to the number of practicing and/or believing Catholics. (That’s how you get your Pelosis, Bidens, and Sibelius’).

    Back to the poster that spurred Michael’s response: Marrying outside the Faith will incur pressure to use birth control, pressure at times to divorce, to not attend mass, to not raise children Catholic, to dismiss Our Lady as just any other woman. To decry Christ on the Cross as ugly and mean as compared to a cross with no corpus.

    It’s a whole can of worms, Emma. A can that this poster, by virtue of the ***grace*** she received and responded to in following the precepts of the Church, avoided. This is not to say that her husband will ‘voila’ become Mr. Catholic Perfection by virtue of his baptism. Far from it. The road is still hard. If the poster wanted Catholic ‘perfection’ or an easier job of it regarding what she thinks a man should have regarding Faith, she should have married a devout Catholic. A spiritual seeker (someone like you!) Her choice, however. Not the Church’s mistake in intimating that her spouse should be Catholic before marriage.

    Now when said poster went further in stating that:

    "All of us are trying to live our lives in a way that leads us to heaven but there is more than one path-- though all paths are through Our Lord Jesus Christ!"

    This too is not Catholic teaching. This is private opinion borne out of frustration and the modern approach to what is admittedly a mess of defection from Holy Mother Church. Having said as much, I’d like you to ask yourself what St. Peter would have responded to such a statement, not from a Pagan, but from a supposed Catholic. Read his dissertation to the Jews on the first Pentecost. Ask yourself what St. Paul would have said regarding the above statement.

    The results of such statements from a ‘Catholic’ poster are scandal, Emma. Not to the strong, no, but to the weak of which there are many. Including myself! If I followed the advice of this poster, I’d have just given up on my husband and kids and not put much thought/effort to the situation of cleaning up our lives. I’d be LOST and so would my husband and kids. Or when things get tough, which they still do, I would just let it go and not concern myself because we’re all on different faith journeys.

    But unlike Protestants believe, salvation comes through faith and works. That is we need to correspond to the graces we receive and keep trying, humbly, to do God’s will as He has revealed it. Not as we’d like to reinterpret it because it would make things so much more peaceful on a daily basis.

    That is why Michael spoke up. I’d bet the entire contents of my refrigerator (and I love food) that he has witnessed/experienced many a defection from Salvation because of these erroneous opinions. And this includes the opinion of the good Deacon when it comes to rebranding God's Truth (not ours) as Triumphalism.

    Ann – whose childhood family has fractured into Wiccans, Reiki Masters, Apostates, Heretics, and self-styled Psychics who believe every spirit is a good one. Hence my wariness.

  3. Emma
    1 year ago

    Ann..I'm very glad that you found your way home! :) I thought that you'd left. What "got my goat " was Michael's demand that another poster should be blocked. You see, when I first came onto this site at 17, I did so only because I had mainly for lack of choice (procrastinator that I am!), enrolled in a class in comparative religion. I was not Catholic and as a matter of fact, I was openly Wiccan. I did not hide it. At no time did anyone on this site attack me or insist that I be banned. Quite the opposite! I was gently and charitably instructed and counseled, but no one ever said that I was to go away. Had they done so, I would have and what my Wiccan elders had taught me about the Catholic Church would have been reinforced. Don't think for one minute that they are ignorant of church teaching or scripture! Many are well educated. Many well versed in religious history, anthropology, languages. There are quite a few "reformed Catholics ". The thing is, they share "just enough ". They are able to share "just enough " and they do so by using church teaching, little Latin quotes to make themselves sound very convincing. If it hadn't been for the welcome that I received here and in other places, I never would have learned the whole truth.

  4. Ann Malley
    1 year ago

    Way to go, Vince. Thank you for the succinct explanation of true unity.

    As things stand, it makes a body wonder if the current 'administration' wants us to attempt under cover conversion. As if anybody with any religious sense about them would be duped by such an approach. Or if the objective isn't conversion at all.

    My world for some straight, from-the-hip truth.


  5. Ann Malley
    1 year ago

    Emma: Thanks for responding and for confessing your pride. Thanks too for admitting that you believe that you 'love and serve' more than Michael. Thank you for diagnosing his malady as a love of knowledge while branding mine as a love of my perceived holiness.

    If only I were holy, Emma. Truth is I am a strong willed, lifelong sinner. That is why I desperately need to receive the fullness of God's Truth from the Catholic Church. I'll die without it. That's not holiness, that's knowing oneself. It is also knowing that most cannot live on watered down gruel despite being told it is nourishing. Either that or they will lose the taste for this new and improved 'meal' and search for meat or slowly die without even knowing it.

    My take on that scenario back in 1979 was that the gruel was tasteless (a truth borne out by the excess of sugar poured in - kind of like having to bribe kids to eat happy 'meals' with cheap toys). Not even the 'religious' who taught me believed it contained any vitamins. They taught me as much in parochial school where I was instructed that certain mortal sins were no longer serious. One of very many lies, delivered right when I needed STRENGTH and TRUTH, not indulgence and sophistry. Still, the choice to leave was mine.

    By God's grace, however, I'd received the taste of meat very early on and while I didn't have the strength or the care to search for it anymore, I knew what it tasted like.

    So when I returned to the Church after a rather hard life, I searched for the meat. There was a lot of gruel. A lot of sugar. A lot of not-so-bad-anymore mortal sins being taught by example and/or omission. I tried going back to that, but felt like such a liar. My then-heathen husband refused to be dragged to another place of halter tops and hyper activity. God and His Angels loved and served me then in that they didn't let go - They never did actually despite my not loving or serving a darned soul.

    Thanks to that grace my whole family is Catholic now, four practicing and one going the way of the hard learner. Even with that defection, or rather because of it, my husband and I cling with firmer purpose to the meat of the Faith. Whole Truths. Not to scandalize our other children and also to set the example to the one gone her way that Truth is worth fighting for - Truth is Christ.

    This forum is a small way to speak up regarding my experiences, Emma - good and bad. And while I cannot speak for Michael, I applaud his practice of the Spiritual works of mercy. Goodness knows if I had the ear of a Bishop or two I'd likely beg them to toss out most of our 'Catholic' politicians. Not for lack of love, Emma, but because I want to love, but love fully.

    Libera nos a malo,

  6. Vince
    1 year ago

    True prayer for unity would be to pray that all protestants accept the Holy Spirit's call to the full faith of the Catholic Church -- to deny this would be false compassion. If Pope Francis would carry the logic of his intent of his prayer to its fullest conclusion, then he should stipulate to his evangelical protestant friend that his prayer for unity involves his hope that the Spirit would enlighten the protestant pastor to convert! Otherwise it is a false prayer for unity -- that sentiment is not triumphalism, that's reality. God Bless.

  7. Emma
    1 year ago

    Ann....not wanting to respond to your question with a knee jerk response and having taken some time for discernment, the answer to the why is pride. I am proud that I serve and love "more". Michael is proud of his knowledge. He is so proud of his knowledge that he issued a demand to Deacon Fournier that he tell a fellow Catholic to go away. You are so proud of your holiness that you've allowed the changes in the church to drive you away. Pride. Pride manifesting itself in the form of spiritual vanity. I stand convicted. I have plenty of company.

  8. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    My last post:
    I am praying for all to consider being less judgmental/critical.
    I am praying that we all may truly love and easily forgive.
    I pray that we go out and share (in wisdom) as Christ who met with prostitutes, a woman probably clad shamefully having been just caught in adultery, and greedy despicable taxcollectors and lowly slavegirls and the children disregarded and bloodied thieves and Christian killers, and the crucified, and non-believers, and spiritually/physically sick; so that all may know the Good News.
    I pray that we will all see our own wretchedness and discern that we are not worthy for our Lord to even look at our roof no matter our virtues (not even sincerity) except we be His creation. For Lord, we truly are not worthy. And Lord, you say /prostitutes/taxcollectors/last amongst us will inherit the Kingdom for they believe whilst others do not. Lord, where this is so, help me (and all others who wish to as well) to go in too with them. May we not be deceived by the eyes/mind/heart of this world.
    I pray for all to be always reminded of the times You touched us Lord sweetly with healing ... the state of our souls and how far we were from You then ... Your agonizing state and Your Loving need to stretch for us despite how we hurt You. Lest we forget.
    I pray for hearts to open to see beauty so we will be less inclined to see bad. May we trust. But notwithstanding Lord, help us to discern those things not of You with purity of heart lest we are deceived by satan with ego and pride when doing good.
    I pray that people will exercise humility in their tone to each other and the heavenly offices of Priest, Religious, Pope. God, the tongue's a window to the heart; may we be so guided.
    I pray for faith and trust in the Holy Spirit that guides our Church.
    I pray for hearts to open to the love of purity so that no confusion will result between the pining of Your Heart and the desires of our own heart/mind. God, may we all be drawn to That Pure Vessel of Light.

    God help us!
    May we become intimately aware of the least amongst us, the Last: the poorest, the most neglected, the most ashamed, the most pained, the ugliest, the most hated, the most foolish, those left out, the nastiest, the downtrodden, the most violent, the most despised, the saddest, the least significant, the worst in ourselves, and encourage each other so The Water of Christ may nourish and revive and bring new life. Let us encompass all of Your Body and look upon the One, Christ.
    Oh Jesus, protect hearts of souls that wish to possess a heart as closely as possible to Yours. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me for You know I try to be as You want me. Teach us to see your flock and look upon your shepherds with love and to discern when we use Your Word or elements of Your Church (no matter how small/insignificant they may appear) shamefully.
    God have mercy on us for our wrongdoings and enlighten our wretched hearts. May sin be revealed in entirety and You in Perfection. Help us to discern between the profane and The Sacred even in the world amidst sacrilegiousness, so that You my love, are not tainted further by our sin and Your Kingdom come. I wish to atone:
    Lord, remind us of The Sacred that we might see You.
    Lord, remind us of The Sacred that we might see You.
    Lord, remind us of The Sacred that we might see You.

  9. Ann Malley
    1 year ago

    Vincent: Couldn't agree more with your reminder to us all of the gruesome reality of Our Lord's death for us. As for 'ecumenism', it used to be a good thing when defined properly. That is a kindly openness to one and all to come and join the Catholic Faith. Since Vatican II, however, the word seems to have mutated into meaning that Catholics should not only accept other people (which Christ did and still does), but to accept the supposed goodness found in their heretical and sometimes pagan beliefs.

    I used to *wonder* why there was this obvious shift in shepherding tactics until I began to read and talk to folks. Why? Because it was precisely that human induced, touchy-feely spirit that drove me out of the church at 16 under the reasoning of "If moral doctrines and the Truth of the Catholic Church doesn't matter anymore, why bother?" I didn't need a world youth day to party. Not by a long shot. And I sure as shooting didn't want to be reminded of God in any way while slamming back a beer.

    I may not have had the Dancing Bishops in my day, but similarly patronizing and degrading antics by church representatives drove me further away. I viewed them as nothing better than a poorly constructed advertising campaign that couldn't compete with the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Not when using the same marketing tools that is.

    That's why I like your straight forward intellectually based reminder of Our Lord's gruesome death. He didn't dance or pander like a clown.

    Methinks, despite whatever crowds we've *seen* on Copa Cabana Beach, the Faithful should keep in mind the destruction of the second temple in the Old Testament, brought on not for the people's marrying Pagan women, but for the Jews embracing the pagan religions.

    God is indeed merciful, but He does not change and He is not mocked.

    Let's pray hard for our priests!

  10. Vincent
    1 year ago

    Let us tread very carefully here and with great circumspection. Our Lord Jesus died a gruesome and horrible death not for mere ecumenical unity, but for his Church, i.e., the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Also, our Lord says very clearly in the first chapter of John's Gospel, "whoever doesn't believe has already been condemned." Unity can only be fostered and attained by being convicted by the Holy Spirit, as our Lord says again in John's Gospel, "the flesh is of no avail." So, let us as Catholics test all things by the Spirit as instructed to us by Saint Paul in order to root out all ministries and efforts which are of human striving and/or motivation within the Lord's mystical body, the Church. I'll cite two examples of the flesh here within the Church; first, this dangerous and misguided venture called Theology on Tap where priests and bishops are preaching God's holy and eternal truth in venues of corruption and dissipation; second, this preoccupation with World Youth Day, which doesn't include the two central groups of our brethren who need the most help according to Saint James in his epistle, i.e., widows and orphans. I'll end my commentary with this observation of Pope Francis during the celebration of mass for Corpus Christi back in June, when he received a souvenir from the Hells Angels motorcycle group who were clad in satanic, black shirts and with great ease and no discomfiture at all gave them a blessing without any mention of their dire need of repentance.

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