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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

21 - 30 of 33 Comments

  1. michael
    1 year ago

    Your statements, Mrs. Small, are certainly sincere. But we need to realize as Catholics that the Roman Catholic Church is not just one of many ways or even the best way to heaven and union Christ and with the Most Blessed Trinity, it is the ONLY way. It is a defined dogma of our Holy Faith that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation not just be precept or command of our Lord, but also in terms of being the only means of arriving at this end. If Protestants and all non-Catholics can make it to heaven without the Catholic Church, then why bother seeking their conversion? Why put the burden upon them of Lenten abstinences and fasts...mandatory Mass attendance under pain of mortal sin...Fridays as days of penance...
    Holy Days of obligation...Easter duties, etc., etc.?

    The missionary saints of old knew one thing, namely, that there is no salvation outside the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church. Granted that we have the issue of invisible ignorance and extraordinary graces, but those things are in God's Hands. We are compelled to bring non-Catholics into the Kingdom and that Kingdom is not various "Christian" communities, but only and solely the Catholic Church.

    The North American Martyrs came to this land for they believed that the pagan Indians were on the road to eternal damnation. St. Francis de Sales ventured into Geneva, taking his life in his hands, to convert the Calvinists knowing that they were on the wide path, too. St. Theresa of Jesus stated that Lutherans were falling like snowflakes into hell.

    The Catholic Church has a monopoly on all saving grace and saving truth. Unless you are on the Ark of Salvation, you will drown within the sea. Without the Church as your mother you cannot have God as your Father...need I say more than what the saints have written? The missionary efforts of the Church for the past few decades have largely come to a stop. A recent interview done with a Catholic missionary priest in the Amazon proves this point. This priest had worked for 44 years among the heathen and had not baptized one person. When asked why, he stated that they can be saved in various ways and can come to salvation by another path.

    False teaching leads to bad evangelization and the damnation of souls.

  2. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    One thing though EILEEN SMALL, as a person who has had to convalidate her marriage after 23 years, I wish my husband had joined the Catholic faith up front. Thus, to all in a similar situation, I would say do it your way EILEEN, as you did it. Your job as wife leading your husband to Truth would be simpler and less hurting. Of course, you will have the responsibility to know the Catholic Truth (or to find another) and engage hubby in vibrant discussions on the Doctrine and practise the faith as best you can.
    I just thought I should share that I think you made a wise decision for your husband. CONGRATULATIONS, you have been blessed. As it is, my husband is not in the Church or any other. Your husband is in the One, True Apostolic Church. Now ... engage him. He has questions.

  3. Eileen Small
    1 year ago

    I would like to apologize if Michael misinterpreted my statement. The message I quoted was one my protestant mother-in-law gave me many years ago before her death. My point was and is simply that, as Pope Francis stated, you find many genuinely good people in all Christian faiths. I believe Pope Francis even pointed to goodness being an inherent human desire--that all human beings, even atheists should be encouraged to develop. I believe in the Catholic faith as the one true faith. If I did not, I wouldn't choose to be Catholic! I do NOT feel that it best serves either our desire to prosletyze or the people we approach if we do so without a spirit of openness and humility however. Jesus said that to whom much is given, much will be expected. Catholics have been given so very, very much!. I seriously doubt, however, that only Catholics can get to heaven--and our protestant brothers and sisters--who do have much less--are struggling along on a different path than we Catholics. Yet they, too, are hoping and praying to attain the same salvation as we Catholics. I basically insisted that my husband convert to Catholicism before we married and my end result is a convert who had not come to Catholocism in his heart--but rather as another means of pleasing me! We can never do our beautiful faith justice when we approach protestants as the "chosen few" or with arrogance or intolerance of the beliefs of others. They simply won't buy it! I apologize again if I was misunderstood.

  4. Vance
    1 year ago

    Being comfortable in our Catholic Skin. This is indeed a profound statement. I am an old Baby Boomer, a life long Catholic. How well I remember the fallout of Vatican II. The seminaries and convents were going empty and sold to the highest bidder. It seemed like no one was "Comfortable in their Catholic Skin" especially the Bishops and priests. All I read from Catholic News and Periodicals was everyone was apologizing for being Catholic. Then came the 1980's that ushered in the short era of the Protestant Evangelicals. Frankly, I loved those Reverends. They called a spade a spade with no apologies. My favorites were the late Rev. Gerry Falwell, Rev Pat Robertson, and Rev Robert Schuller. Falwell and Robertson took heavy heat from the entire Liberal Establishment including our own illustrious Bishops and priests. These men stood tall and took the arrows for speaking the truth.

    Thank God for Mother Angelica and EWTN for filling a spiritual void among many Catholics. The Liberal Left Bishops and clergy hated her for speaking the truth about them. As a Pro-Life warrior, I'm in unity with brothers and sisters of other Christian faiths praying together to end abortion and euthanasia.

  5. michael
    1 year ago

    The comment made by that good woman, Mrs. Small, should be deleted as it is erroneous. She states the following:

    "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!"

    Christ and His Roman Catholic Church are inseparable. Pope Pius XII clearly taught that the Mystical Body of Christ is the Catholic Church and the the two are identical. This is taught infallibly in Mystici Coroporis and Humani Generis. St. Augustine states that if you wish to find the Spirit of Christ, you must go to the Body of Christ. Even Pope Francis recently stated that you cannot have Christ without the Church.

    As a Catholic website, you should remove this comment as it is causing untold confusion in the minds of many. If there is more than one path to Jesus, then the Creed we recite each Sunday is UNAM, sanctum, CATHOLICAM, et apostolic am ECCLESIAM! Finally, the oft repeated dogmatic statement, extra ecclesiam nulla salus cannot be forgotten or put aside. If you wish to bear the name of a "Catholic" website, then purge that woman's comment or have Deacon Keith correct it. He seems to have no problem correcting even when a correction is not warranted.

  6. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    The Catholic faith is the One True Apostolic faith. It is ordered under the guidance of The Holy Spirit. However, we can be unloving to persons of other faiths in this knowledge rather than redemptive. This is not Christian and it is against God's Commandments.
    Nevertheless, we ought to be wise. As a Catholic in our full knowledge of God's Church, we have responsibilities as Stewards of the faith regarding the maintenance of the Church; and we must strive to always do God's Will as disciples of the Church. When we don't do our job, the Church (the mystical Christ) is injured. To whom much is given, much is expected.
    Other Christian faiths often unite to dissuade persons from being Catholic and attack the Church. This should be met with love and dialogue and a good, faithful Christian life. We should strive to understand the conflict. A conflict has 2 sides. How did we contribute? Where there is misunderstanding, we should seek clarity, persevering in patience and prayer.
    The Catholic Church, in Its fullness, is what God wants for the world. We are called to do this. We won't accomplish it with haughtiness, slander, and ridicule (this is not love). But with a welcoming spirit and repentant heart, God will help. Something like what the Church accomplished with our returning Anglican and Pentecostal segments (e.g. Deacon Alex Jones).
    The Church is not for profit or for argument. It is not to restart. It is not to be impacted by different ideas from alternative philosophies. It is not to be attacked. No one has the power over the Church to change foundational ideas. It is to be supported in faith and joined in love. And we each have a responsibility to make atonement for the hurt we have caused to the Church, Christ Wounded.

  7. Eileen Small
    1 year ago

    I am going to attempt to forward this article to my sister as I was truly touched by it's simple--yet eloquent--truth! It should be reiterated from the pulpit of every Catholic church around the world! I am a "cradle Catholic" who fell away shortly after Vatican 2 and am now home again and feeling more blessed than I can express for the forgiveness my faith allows. Having said that, I married my husband in 1968. I was 17 and he was 20 and in the Navy. He decided to convert to Catholocism before our marriage mainly to please me. He attended classes on the Naval base in San Diego, Calif, and at that time he was allowed to complete his conversion in 3--or perhaps 4-- lessons. He basically ended up with what I call a "Cliff Notes" grasp of the Catholic faith---but of course he feels that his understanding is complete because, after all, he took classes. Frankly, he struggles with many tenants of our faith--especially things such as the requirement to attend Mass on specific days and in Confession. He is such a good and decent man, however, and a wonderful loving husband, and loving father to our 5 children. He was raised in the First christian Church from his birth until our marriage.. When we married, I was so anxious for him to convert that I now conclude that I did him a grave disservice. I should have either married him as a protestant and allowed him to truly make up his mind that he wanted to be a Catholic for himself or I should have delayed our marriage. I did him a grave disservice by basically insisting that he convert--and the fact that he did convert--for me--speaks volumes about the genuine love present in this protestant man's heart! When my mother-in-law, now dead for many years, learned that my husband was going to become Catholic, she said something to me that went right over my head at the time. It is basically the same thing as was spoken in the above article, however. She told me this: "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!" She was a very good and very wise woman. If all Catholics came to the epiphany that she had--that all Christians are united in loving Jesus and hoping for salvation in His name--what a beautiful world we would have. If we looked on all Christians as our brothers and sisters in a common belief, we could love our way into a reunification with all Christian sects!

  8. Uju Frances
    1 year ago

    Thank you for your write up, but I would really like an honest explanation: exactly what kind of unity of Christians are we talking about. Is it the fraternal unity where we all strive to uphold the dignity of the human person regardless of our individual ideologies, or is the unity of Christian faith where we all gather together to form a kind of church that is neither Catholic nor of those not in full union with the Catholic church? Or is it the return of the separated churches to the faith that Christ instituted?

    Between Popes Benedict and Francis, I could detect a stark difference in their call to Christian unity. Which Christian unity are we talking about please, before people will begin to attend various Churches that catch their fancies or pray with all types of Christian leaders in the name of unity? Please can some one enlighten me?

  9. Old Soldier
    1 year ago

    Though Catholiic myself I have observed that This fact is truly heart-breaking for the people and clergy in those Ecclesial Communities.

  10. Old Soldier
    1 year ago

    I agree. But why do so many small Ecclesial Communities who try to enter the Church as unified bodies, fully accepting the Catholic Faith (especially their clergy) find the doors into the Catholic Church closed and barred?

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