The Church is gaining in the world, and unlike the dismantling taking place in many liberal Protestant churches, no such white flag is being raised from atop St Peter's in Vatican City. In my book, "The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism", I note that in addition to the young embracing the teachings of the Church along with her devotions, the Church has experienced an uptick in vocations in the US and an onslaught of vocations in Asia and Africa. These seminarians and young priests share little in common with the dissidents that often taught at Catholic seminarians in the 1960s and 1970s.
COLUMBUS, OH (Catholic Online) - The New York Times full-fledged assault against the Catholic Church has many mystified and angered, some of whom haven't exactly been on the A list of orthodox minded Catholics such as Ken Woodward, the former Religion Editor of Newsweek Magazine. Woodward has said that New York Times Editor Bill Keller often referred to himself as a "collapsed Catholic." (If ever there was a hint.) Why now many have wondered, and why has a noted and respected writer like Laurie Goodstein taken part in such an odious display of yellow journalism?
Perhaps it is because the Church hasn't crumbled even with the devastating nature of the Abuse Scandal. Perhaps it is because unlike so many churches that have changed their doctrine, the Catholic Church remains true to the teachings of Christ, the Apostles and the 265 subsequent popes since St Peter. Perhaps it is because Pope Benedict XVI still uses the term, "The Dictatorship of Relativism" that so angers the Catholic Left. The first example of this being the theologically liberal lightning rod Father Richard O'Brien; who during CBS News' live coverage of the last Conclave Mass, presided over by then Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, stated that it is safe to say he would not become pontiff. Father McBrien went on to say, that if elected pontiff "Catholics would head to the margins of the Church," in response to Cardinal Ratzinger's homily about the Dictatorship of Relativism.
In my book, "The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism", I note that in addition to the young embracing the teachings of the Church along with her devotions, the Church has experienced an uptick in vocations in the US and an onslaught of vocations in Asia and Africa. These seminarians and young priests share little in common with the dissidents that often taught at Catholic seminaries in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, these young men have raised the ire of not only the dissidents but those in the Church, including even some in the hierarchy who were influenced by those misguided souls from the Spirit of 1968.
Has the New York Times written about these young priests and seminarians? Has the New York Times written about the growing number of young women in orthodox minded new Catholic orders like the Sisters of Mary of the Eucharist or the Nashville Dominicans who wear the habit and joyfully take part in devotions that many of the older pants suit sisters long ago left behind? In the case of the Sisters of Mary of the Eucharist, their biggest problem is in twelve short years they have outgrown their motherhouse, something they didn't foresee happening for decades. No, the New York Times has not written about these events. Instead, they have seen fit to excoriate Pope Benedict XVI, a man they once praised for his active role in attacking the Abuse Scandal when he was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Many of the articles are so devoid of facts that they read like a homemade publication one can read while visiting a leftist college campus or some urbane, politically left wing enclave.
The New York Times has seen fit to write favorably about liberal Protestant churches, their leftist voice on politics and liberal theological positions on doctrine, even though they are in a statistical freefall. When then presiding Episcopal Bishop of the United States, Katharine Jefferts Schori insinuated that Episcopalians were more intelligent than Catholics because they were environmentally conscious - unlike the Catholic Church's adherents who were pro life in their persuasion - nothing was made of it by the New York Times and much of their mainstream media counterparts. Only the burgeoning Catholic blogosphere cried foul over these remarks.
Already in 1934 the future Bishop Fulton Sheen in his book; "Life of a Galilean" outlined the disparate state of religion in the western world. Modernism was already taking hold of some Catholic thinkers, and especially so in many Protestant seminaries. GK Chesterton (who actually met and was quite impressed with then Father Sheen) spoke of this phenomenon even earlier. In 1907, Pope Pius X spoke extensively on the disastrous consequences of modernism. Yet, like Pope Benedict XVI of today, Pope Pius X was treated with scorn and derision by the self appointed intelligentsia. Sadly it seems many modern era pontiffs have received the same treatment for all too often predicting events that would soon occur.
The embattled Pope Paul VI warned of out of control sexual promiscuity and abortion when he issued his famous encyclical Humanae Vitae in 1968, that fateful year when Europe and America experienced upheaval from forces that all too often wanted to destroy religion's place in the modern world. Sadly, it was all too often that some inside the Church seemed smitten with these modern day intellectual versions of the Goths and Visigoths. Perhaps it is because the Church has survived these sorts of plundering that angers elites like the New York Times. Those rebelling against God have always stated they knew better than God. This sort of mindset goes all the way back to the most beautiful angel Lucifer, who uttered the infamous words, "I will not serve."
Cabals of ambulance chasing attorney's (many of whom made no bones about their hatred of the Church) have crisscrossed the nation claiming their true purpose is to help those who were had grievously suffered from the Abuse Scandal. Have any of these attorneys spent time helping those who were sexually abused by employees of big government, especially big city school systems? There are certainly more victims from these institutions than came from the Catholic Church. Sadly they have not aided these victims anywhere near as much as they have tried to tear down the Catholic Church, in so doing, they have become rich beyond their wildest dreams, and still it isn't enough. Many want to depose Pope Benedict; the very man many said was the best voice in Rome stopping the heinous acts all too often committed by men who claimed they wanted to change the Church. These change agents dubbed themselves as friends of the progressive voices who now have attacked the Church.
Though the devious Father Marciel is the notable exception, the majority of abusive priests were hardly the Old School, Latin Mass, Friday afternoon devotional types. They have always said they wanted to help the Church by changing the Church, a remedy for disaster. Keep in mind that it was the devil himself who told Eve she would be just like God if she ate the apple. The sin of pride knows no bounds
When my book, "The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism" came out some three years ago, some thought I was completely adrift in my assertion that the mega churches days were numbered. The mega churches were popular (and still are in some places) and full of a lot excitement. After all, weren't they "conservative" in their view of politics and religion? Well a lot has changed in three short years and I am more convinced than ever that their demise is soon in coming. Many have now drifted to the political middle and some to the political left. In addition, their version of "conservative" Christianity often has no theological ground and changes with the wind.
Pope Benedict XVI predicted that the Dictatorship of Relativism would sway those to and fro who were not moored to a solid anchor. This may seem hard to believe for some, but it would do them well to remember that some of the deist intellectual minds in the colonies at the time of the American Revolution were direct descendants of the anti-Anglican and anti-Catholic very conservative Puritans a century before. With no firm doctrine and teaching Magisterium to hold them in place, they had drifted from the far right, to the far religious left.
The mainstream media has increasingly written glowingly of these mega churches, which are often devoid of religious symbols and doctrinal truths to guide them. Some of these mega churches which had so strongly supported President Bush in 2004 strongly supported the Presidential candidacy of Barack Obama in 2008. Perhaps soon these mega churches will go the way of the northeastern Christians who went from very conservative to very liberal in a short amount of time.
This is why the New York Times and their allies in the mainstream media assail the Catholic Church as much as they do. The Church is gaining in the world, and unlike the dismantling taking place in many liberal Protestant churches, no such white flag is being raised from atop St Peter's in Vatican City. If the New York Times were so concerned abuse sexual abuse, they wouldn't have far to look for the amount of cases in the Big Apple's public schools are many times anything that has occurred in the entire US Catholic Church. Yet, another story the Times hasn't seen "fit to print." The Catholic Church's stance on faith, family and traditional views of marriage and liturgy drives the liberal powers that be up a wall. Instead of looking within, which liberals generally love to do, the Old Gray Lady and her stalwarts in the Dictatorship of Relativism threw a hissy fit. Recently the Times of London ran a column by Antonia Senior, in which it was clearly stated that she believed abortion was murder. Yet, she thought this act of murder was vital for women to assert their rights. The article read like a temper tantrum against God Himself. In many ways this is what the new militant atheism and militant secularism is all about; an open rebellion against God. The diatribes against Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church, and various Evangelicals churches which adhere to classical Christian doctrine are just the opening act in a violent play against God.
David J Hartline has worked for 20 years in Catholic Church as a Catholic school teacher, coach, principal and diocesan administrator. The time spent has helped him to see the good and sometimes not so good events within the Catholic Church. Frustrated because the good was not being reported, Hartline wrote "The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism," which chronicles the many positive developments occurring in the Church, such as an increase in vocations and devotions, especially among the young. Hartline speaks to audiences around the country and lives in Columbus, Ohio.
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