Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/2/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We need a new Christian foundation for the West. The Catholic Church is in the first stage of a new missionary age.

Pope Benedict’s summons to Europe to return to her Christian roots in order to rebuild herself - and his commendation of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American experiment ( as evident in his visit and his locutions while on our shores) - are  both oriented toward the same end. He is encouraging the building of a truly just civil and social order by proposing the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good as the foundation for authentic and responsible freedom.

Pope Benedict’s summons to Europe to return to her Christian roots in order to rebuild herself - and his commendation of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American experiment ( as evident in his visit and his locutions while on our shores) - are both oriented toward the same end. He is encouraging the building of a truly just civil and social order by proposing the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good as the foundation for authentic and responsible freedom.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/2/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) It is the weekend when much of the media offers pundits and pontificators the opportunity to review the year we just concluded and make projections concerning the year we have just begun. Like most people, I enjoy listening to these efforts. I even participate to some degree, as evidenced by my short offering to Dr. Deal Hudsons efforts in the Inside Catholic article reprinted below. I wanted to offer a somewhat different proposal than what is the standard fare in a short article. To understand what I write requires that I sketch out a few important claims which flow from my convictions concerning the Church.

We live in an age when many, including some Catholics, have a view of the Church that falls short of what the Gospels and the ancient faith claim. They view the Church as an organization which we came up with - to study the bible, or to pray or to do good works. Though all three efforts are commendable, they do not define the nature of the Church. The Church is the Risen Body of Christ, a sacramental reality. The Church is not some thing, but some One. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and we are members of His Body. The ancient Christians would have never considered a Christianity which spoke in terms such as I do not need the Church, I have Jesus. Christianity is not me and Jesus, it is me (and you) in Jesus, now made, in the words of the Apostle Peter, partakers of the Divine Nature. We become members of His Body through Baptism. In Him we are joined in an eternal communion with all who have also been baptized into Him. We are all called to live in the Church.

This is more than an allegory, this is a reality. The Church makes the Risen Christ present on the earth by carrying forward in time His redemptive mission until he comes. Through her proclamation and demonstration of his Word - and by providing through her Sacraments the grace that we need - she enables us to grow more fully into His Image and Likeness for the sake of the world. The Church is Gods plan for the whole human race. All men and women are called to find their home in the One Church of Christ. The early Fathers were fond of referring to the Church with phrases such as the world reconciled or the world in the course of transfiguration. She is a communion wherein we participate, even now, in the Trinitarian communion. She is the seed of the Kingdom to come and makes that Kingdom present in the here and now. She is the soul of the world and animates that world by her very presence.

Similarly, the teaching office (magisterium) of the Church is the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord to guide us in all truth by His Holy Spirit. It is not - as some seem to think, including sadly some poorly catechized Catholic politicians - old men in Rome with pointy hats somehow imposing rules. Rather, the promise of Christ is proven true; He has not left us orphans, he continues to guide us into all truth. The Bishops are the successors of the Apostles. The Pope really is the successor of Peter and the principle of unity. The Holy Spirit works through the Church because Jesus Christ is alive and continues His Incarnational and saving mission through His Body.

Because of this understanding of the Church I believe that what is most important in 2009 is what happened in the Church. The collapse of the West will not be remedied by any political party or philosophy. In the United States, gripped by the lies of a culture of death and use, we do not need a conservative revolution as some pundits maintain. We need a Christian revolution. It was the Christian Church which gave us the understanding of the dignity of every human person because we are created in the Image of God. From that came the understanding that we all possess fundamental human rights. Yes, the American founders carried such a notion into a bold experiment in ordered liberty but they did not come up with it on their own. They derived it from Western civilization and the influence of Christendom. That is the the influence of the Church. That is also why the seemingly inevitable collapse of the West can be averted, but only through the resurgence of the Church in the Third Millennium. It is the Church which is the vehicle for true progress. Christianity is the antidote to the descent into a new barbarism arising out of the neo-paganism currently masquerading as liberation.

The Lord who founded His Church did not intend for it to be divided. We are responsible for that. We have been created in His Image. That includes our capacity to exercise our human freedom. Unfortunately, we are still affected by the first wrong choice, it is called sin, and we repeat it over and over. That is also why we continually need the Lord - and why the Church is so important because she is His Body. The Church must manifest her four marks, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, in our own day. The world must be awakened from her sleep. I make a bold claim, one which I will build upon in future articles; the Church will do so in a profound way in this Third Millennium. The Lord has not given up on His plan. The prayer of Jesus, May They Be One, is being answered. That is why Pope Benedict, in his very first homily, referred to Christian unity as his impelling duty. Playing off of the title of Dr. Thomas Woodss book, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, I make another claim. The Catholic Church will rebuild Western Civilization as she comes back together again in the fullness of Christian communion.

The Popes travels are not only good will trips; they are the modern missionary journeys of the Vicar of Christ. They are chosen strategically, led by the Holy Spirit and have a prophetic purpose as part of a plan for that full communion. Review his trips with that possibility in mind. Similarly, his Encyclical (circulating) letters are not merely academic exercises; they are written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They contain wisdom from heaven which can help to heal and rebuild the Church - and through her the world. Reread, or read for the first time Charity in Truth with that in mind. His work to restore the Catholic unity of the Church - including the bold overture toward Anglican Christians, pastoral overture toward the SSPX, humble rapprochement to our Orthodox brethren, and his continual encouragement to the ecclesial movements - are a part of a blueprint, written by the Holy Spirit, to resuscitate the Church as one New Man, breathing with both lungs, East and West, ushering in this new Christian missionary age.

Similarly, his speech in Regensburg is the first step in engaging an ascendant Islam with the Truth claims of Christianity. He will do so with respect, but he will do so and we must do so as well, as part of the Church. The hungry secularism which has fueled what he so aptly called the dictatorship of relativism opened up the void into which Islam has rushed. However, that void resulted from the decline of a truly Christian vision for the human person, marriage and the family and civil society built upon it and a true understanding of authentic human freedom and solidarity. The future will not be secular. Secularism does not have any content to sustain a future. The challenge of Islam is an invitation to the Church to offer the true humanism which is Christianity as the path to the future.

Pope Benedicts summons to Europe to return to her Christian roots in order to rebuild herself - and his commendation of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American experiment ( as evident in his visit and his locutions while on our shores) - are oriented toward the same end. He is encouraging the building of a truly just civil and social order by proposing the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good as the foundation. In short, we need a new Christian foundation for the West. The Catholic Church is in the first stage of a new missionary age. The Dictionary tells us that a prelude is an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter. The Year that was and the Year that will be are a just that, a prelude, there is much more to come.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2014 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: For James there was no indication that this was the day that his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter