Rebuilding Our Church Part I
By Fr. Robert J. Carr
Catholic Online 2005
How do we fix the Church today? We first evaluate the symptoms and the underlying issues. Look carefully, and you will realize our American Church is suffering from complacency, presumption on God's mercy and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Do not look just to the clergy to find these problems.
People in universities, government and the media have enjoyed a bashing fest against Catholics now for many years, especially the last three. All claim to do so in the interest of reforming Her. None call Her to be more holy, but to be more open to women's ordination, gay marriage, divorce and embryonic stem cell research. Most bashers call themselves lapsed Catholic, ex-Catholics and/or members of other religions. Rarely do these people ever say the name of Jesus. Maybe they all speak this holy name during the proverbial fall down the back stairs.
I mentioned in my homily this week of a "Catholic" television writer with whom I spoke several years ago who defended her collaboration with The Media Project as a place to get ideas. The Media Project works with television writers and producers to put immoral sexual propaganda into network programs. Its purpose is to use your TV to teach your children sexual propaganda, which they believe your children have to right to know.
Television producers and promoters fail to mention the propaganda part when they invite you to watch their ?entertainment?. This sexual propaganda is pro-teen sex, pro-condom, pro-abortion and vehemently anti-Abstinence only education. According to The Media Project, their greatest network supporter is ABC television. How can one call himself a Catholic and collaborate with The Media Project? This is especially true when its tactics are so underhanded. The answer is simple, he can?t. One cannot work with The Media Project AND be in a state of grace. God calls us to live and to preach virtue. The Media Project teaches our children to do neither. It is a contradiction in terms to say you are Catholic and you support The Media Project. Further, it is essential for Catholics to investigate which media companies participate in The Media Project and to build their family?s television viewing decisions based upon their findings. Either we embrace our faith 24/7 or we embrace those who reject our faith. We cannot do both.
How many times have you heard the term lapsed Catholic? There is no such thing. Either you are for Christ or you are against him. If you are a lapsed Catholic you have rejected Christ. There is no middle ground. Granted, Jesus is all merciful, but only to the repentant. A self-proclaimed lapsed Catholic is not repentant of anything and is, therefore, engaged in the obstinate act of rejecting the grace of the Holy Spirit. Such a person is not a lapsed anything; he is hostile to Christ. That is Jesus' own teaching. Jesus makes it clear, either be for Him or against Him, do not play the middle ground. There is no such thing as a lapsed Catholic nor a Centrist Catholic. There can only be formerly lapsed Catholics, that begins with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (Rev. 3:15-16)
Recently, I discovered that the domain name Voice of the Faithful in New Jersey is owned by a member of Rent-A-Priest. This is a service of a Massachusetts organization called CITI Ministries. CITI stands for Celibacy Is The Issue. Men who left their ordination vows, and are now married, celebrate the ?sacraments? for you anywhere you want. The website does not cite that the certifying agency of these marriages, in Massachusetts anyway, is not the Secretary of the Commonwealth, nor the Roman Catholic Church, but the International Council of Community Churches. Talk about sin, here is one violation of the 8th Commandment (bearing false witness) after another. Yet, they tried to get people to believe this is Catholic. This is a rejection of Christ's Church with co-operation from a non-Catholic Church. Further, the person who undermines another?s job so that he can do the same job is called a scab in labor circles. There is nothing Catholic, or Holy about this. This is not an option for the true Catholic.
Voice of the Faithful enjoys the support of the airwaves federally licensed to Hearst-Argyle Television. Boston Catholics experience this as a double whammy because the local Hearst Argyle owned television unit (WCVB-TV) is also an ABC-TV affiliate. Voice of the Faithful and its supporters are just full of ideas that change the words of the Our Father to "My will be done!" and that is clearly the change its membership seeks.
Catholicism calls us to be humble before the Lord and to allow his grace to work through us. We cannot do that when we are focused on getting God?s Church to submit to our will.
Finally, there are these words by an Anthony Gancarski. How many Catholics have remained complacent when our church has been attacked like this and why? My guess is that there really is no one who believes enough to speak up for the gospel that these people reject. If you think I am kidding read these words: Warning: They are very blasphemous:
"Most symbolic of the current malaise in the US church is the communion wafer itself. A dry saucer, cardboard in taste and texture, denuded of any mystery. The Church might consider co-opting a Rastafarian position and adopting marijuana as a sacrament. Catholics could cling to that subliminal state of elevation, and perhaps come to understand why Christ overturned the tables in the temple and devoted so much action to exposing ?strong central government? as a base fraud."
What is at the bottom of the crisis is a lack of commitment to Christ in our American Church. The real reason why we have the crisis is because clergy and laity lost their passion for the Gospel. That is more than tragic; that is the root of every grave evil. No crisis in the Church will end until that condition changes. Do you believe in Christ enough to defend his truth, or are you complacent enough to sit there and do nothing while Anthony Gancarski calls for marijuana smoking to replace the Eucharist at mass. If you remain so complacent, think of ways you can defend yourself before the throne of God. Can you defend not standing up for his truth enough to demonstrate that you believe his Gospel at all?
Christianity is about revolution and this revolution is about action. It is not violent action Christ calls us to, but to heroic virtuous action of living the Gospel. The sins of omission, complacency and obstinacy of the grace of the Holy Spirit never produce virtue; but give a good fertile ground for a society to succumb to vice.
What action should we take?
That I will discuss in Part II.
Rev. Robert J. Carr is the author of Evolution, Faith and the Future of Catholicism. He is the Parochial Vicar at St. Benedict?s Church in Somerville, MA.
Websites cited in this article are as follows, endorsement is not implied.
The Media Project?s One Scene at a Time: http://www.themediaproject.com/news/shows/
Endorsement of The Media Project by ABC, Inc. http://www.themediaproject.com/about/endorsements.htm
Endorsement of Voice of the Faithful by Paul LaCamera, CEO of Hearst Argyle televsion Unit and ABC-TV Affiliate WCVB-TV Boston http://www.thebostonchannel.com/station/1581673/detail.html
Anthony Gancarskia: Rebranding the Catholic Church http://www.counterpunch.org/gancarski1213.html
http://evolution.catholicismanew.org MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - priest, author, 617 625-0029
The Media Project, ABC-TV, Hearst-Argyle, Repentance, sin of ommission, holy spirit, sin, repentence, Voice of the Faithful, Rent-a-Priest
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