Tuesday, July 26, 2016

It's my fault. . .

An honest Roman Catholic priest by the name of Richard Heilman wrote humbly and profoundly about the urgency of catechesis and the consequence of remaining silent or aloof from the changes of this culture and our society.  His words ought to compel every orthodox Christian pastor who is tempted not to speak or to speak in an oblique way the challenges we face and the pressing priority of knowing who we are, what we are here to do, and how we must accomplish it for the cause of Christ and His kingdom.  I urge you to read his words and consider what he has said.

After that, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that it does not continue to be our fault.  In other words, if we will acknowledge what it is that is our failure, let us make sure that we are doing everything we can to prevent this from being the continuing error of Christians unable to know the difference between the ways of the world around them and their own faith rooted and planted in Christ and ill-equipped to respond to the ways of the world except to conform.  The real issue for us is not simply pointing out the problem, but marshaling every resource to prevent this problem from being the constant crutch of a crippled Church, unwilling or unable to prepare our people to see through the fog to know who they are in Christ and what Gospel they are here to confess and live.

I am a Roman Catholic priest. I believe the Catholic Church was instituted by the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity. If our Church’s claim is true (and it is), then this Catholic Church was given to us as the very “hope for humanity” … as a way to lift civilization out of self-centered barbarism to a civilization of altruistic love. That’s no small thing. It is everything! This choice to establish this Church was “God’s Way” of redeeming His children.

As we look at this horrible, horrible 2016 Presidential election, I believe the problem is not the Party. The problem is us. Better yet, the problem is me. I am not going to get into what I believe all of us priests and bishops have done or have not done … I leave that up to their own personal discernment. I can only speak for myself.

I am a weak spiritual leader who has led us to a place where “conservatives” cannot get elected or stay in office without making horrible compromises. I take the blame on this one.

I sat by and allowed sappy, effeminate, profane liturgies demoralize and deaden the hearts of our Catholic men (and many Catholic women). I remained mostly silent as feminists stripped our men of their dignity as husbands and fathers and spiritual heads of their households. I remained mostly silent as men slipped into the soul-deadening addiction of internet pornography. I remained mostly silent as liberal ideologues captured the attention of our youth. I remained mostly silent when our own Catholic leadership watered down and compromised the values and principles and morals of a once solid bedrock of faith in a tempted world. I remained mostly silent as our beloved Catholic Church was turned from a powerhouse of prayer and supernatural grace into one among many secular non-government organizations.

As I stated, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity established this Catholic Church as the hope for humanity, but I have allowed it to become something of little relevance in most people’s lives. Now, less then 25% bother coming to worship God on a regular basis (closer to only 5% in Europe). Now, it seems, even a vast majority of those who attend no longer even believe the Eucharist is God.

As a result of all of this, our world is unmoored from the Presence and Power of God, and so we have quickly reverted to the barbarism of those who once never knew God at all. Evil has accelerated on all sides, and we have no defense against its expansion.


Carl Vehse said...

It is no small irony in seeing an excerpt of some Roman priest in admitting his failure of remaining silent to the increasing Godless liberalism that has infected his church body's congregations, rather than seeing an excerpt from some Lutheran pastor or an excerpt from some Missouri Synod Lutheran official, or just a column by a Lutheran pastor, especially after a sedated synodical convention.

John Joseph Flanagan said...

I was watching a Catholic priest speak on EWTN recently. This is a Catholic TV cable outlet, and sometimes there are interesting newsworthy discussions and guests. From a Christian standpoint, however, I felt compelled to remember the Church of Rome is still very much in the darkness of heresy. The same priest spoke eloquently about Jesus for several moments, than he spoiled it all by ending with a commentary on why we must pray to Mary and ask for her intervention during these times. I fear that perhaps some Lutherans in our own Synod are courting spiritual disaster and moving closer to Rome in their thinking, and that is not a good place to be.

ErnestO said...

This Catholic priest needs a spiritual director to help him discover and accept what God is doing in his life and what God is asking him to do. Spiritual direction is an ongoing conversation between him, the director, and the Holy Spirit about how he can know, love, and follow Christ more fully.

John Joseph Flanagan said...

ErnestO, to be quite blunt and impolite, and to be politically incorrect and unsparing in describing the problem, well this Catholic priest does not need a human "spiritual director." What he needs to do is to sit down and read the Bible, pray for wisdom, and follow the Holy Spirit's leading. This may take him away from his familiar comfort zone, from friends and colleagues, from much of the thinking which has shaped his life thus far. He may have to put away his favorite relics, stop praying to dead saints, seek the face of Jesus directly rather than through Mary, and forget the idea of salvation through his flawed works. Many men have left the church, and I know a former Jesuit who did just that long ago. Separation from Heresy is not an option for a Christian, it is a necessity, and though the cost may seem hard for a priest who spent years in the Roman Church, it is the cost worth paying.

Anonymous said...

Maybe people have gotten what their itching ears want to hear?
We get the politicians we elect.
We get the pastors we call.
One pastor tried to take a stand on ________ and people left the church.

Anonymous said...


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