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Instructions for The Catholic Radical: Part 1

By Fr. Robert J. Carr
©Catholic Online 2005

Please note: with this article I begin an open ended series on how to live our faith radically. Let us be empowered in our faith and live for Christ in powerful and radical ways.


It is time for Catholics to realize not only that they are under attack, but also to take up the tools to fight back. The attack comes from those within and without the Church. As it has always been.

The greatest attack against the Church right now is by Secular Radicals. If you understand this form of radicalism then you will see it is about as evil as it comes. This is not because it seeks change, but it is the type of change it seeks.

Secular radicalism starts with a call to determine what needs to be changed and to use whatever means necessary to change it. The most despicable form is a kind of persuasion that rationializes any technique and philosophy. It leads one to slowly reject his moral compass for this allegedly good. If the technique sounds familiar, it is used by gangs, cults and yes even Charles Manson used it to reform the members of "his family." It is raging in our universities.

Community Organizers for example will use the term "by any means necessary" (coined by Malcolm X by the way, and certainly not Martin Luther King, Jr's mantra). They will encourage a form of "ends justify the means" and a form of slowly turning from values to a set of values that are created by the cause. Therefore, they reject any notion of a standard of truth. Unfortunately, they are lost individuals who give the appearance of intelligence and wisdom.

For example, for them stealing is wrong, unless it is needed to secure rights for the oppressed. Slander is wrong, unless it is needed to secure rights for the oppressed. Murder is wrong, unless it is needed to secure the rights for the oppressed. The question is how do you define oppressed? How do you define the oppressors? Right now the oppressed is the pregnant woman and the oppressor is the unborn baby, for example. See how crazy this is!

Here is where everything collapses. This form of radicalism is based on an idea that the spiritual does not exist, or if it does, it is inconsequential. Therefore, there are only human consequences for one's actions. Life is meaningless anyway, so we make for meaning in our lives by securing rights for people even at the expense of taking rights away from others. "Catholics do not have the right to freedom of Religion because they do not believe in our definition of freedom!" It is a system as crazy as evil itself. It thrives in many parts of our world including the United States and it is alive in our universities, Catholic and otherwise. It is based in pride.

Catholic Radicalism on the other hand is based on a form of change as well, but change rooted in changing hearts, saving souls and thereby changing societies from the inside out. It is rooted in true human liberation secured by charity not secured by dictatorial laws.

The Catholic radical knows his bible inside and out, he knows his faith, inside and out. He knows faith's goal: Salvation of souls, inside and out. He acts under those conditions. The Catholic radical takes his instructions from his relationship with Jesus Christ personally and communally. He sees the mass as the place of nourishment, power and empowerment by Jesus Christ himself all for His kingdom of God. He understands the words of Jesus' revolution found in the Our Father. "May your kingdom come, may your will be done." He also understands the virtue of humility.

Which form of radical are you? The self-centered kind rooted in the lies of the evil one, or are you working for Christ? If you are doing the latter, you will engage in daily prayer, you will engage in bible reading, you will build bible reading groups filled with people who reject secular radicalism. People will learn to spots its lies and turn it on its head.

The Secular Radical will seek to sacrifice you for his purposes, the Catholic Radical is ready to sacrifice himself for Christ in love of God and love of neighbor. The Catholic Radical takes the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as his guide to act. Which radical do you choose to be? Sit down, read Romans 12 and make your decision to follow Christ radically. Then stay tuned for the next lesson.


Live Not By Lies MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - parochial vicar, 617 542-5682



Radical, Jesus Christ, radicalism

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