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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


Should Americans have job preference over unskilled-illegal immigrants? President Obama doesn't think so Watch

Image of New polls are showing that Americans are tired of illegal immigrants getting benefits at the expense of citizens and legal immigrants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to the Associated Press: "one of the more popular requests among business and family groups is a change in the way green cards are counted," which would "essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Caught in the act! This brutal video shows a CHP officer beating a woman on the side of the freeway Watch

Image of 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock is suing the California Highway Patrol after she was brutally assaulted by a patrolman on July 1.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A viral video has landed a California Highway Patrol officer in huge trouble after it was posted on YouTube. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The California Highway Patrol has announced that it has suspended officer Daniel Andrew after a video was posted online that ... continue reading


What Pope Francis said to make millions think about Abortion Watch

Image of On Saturday, August 16, 2014, during the apostolic visit to Korea, Pope Francis made a loud statement. However, he did not use words. He did not have to. His prophetic action brought to mind a saying attributed to his namesake, Francis of Asisi - I preach the Gospel at all times, but sometimes I use words.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When Francis began his service from the chair of Peter, much hoopla filled the media about some alleged softening in the opposition of the Catholic Church to what are dismissively referred to as complicated "moral issues" such as abortion. Sadly, even some in the ... 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, First Corinthians 1:1-9
1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 24:42-51
42 'So stay awake, because you do not know the day ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 28th, 2014 Image

St. Augustine of Hippo
August 28: St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of 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