Monday, August 15, 2016

How Catholic Bloggers and Their Followers Put Themselves in Eternal Peril

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I, for the most part, no longer read "catholic" blogs and websites.  Far too many "catholic" blogs are filled with self-righteous hatred, anger, vitriol and condemnation of anyone who does not agree with them.  The main target of these blogs is the hierarchy of the Catholic Church - the Church they claim to love and support.  The biggest target of all is the earthly head of the Catholic Church - Pope Francis.  I have written many times on this blog about the horrific attacks and hate directed at Pope Francis by self-identifying "catholic" bloggers.  

This has been going on from the time Pope Francis first stepped onto the balcony after his election, as can be seen in this headline from almost three years ago - September 15, 2013 - "No Joke:  Is the Pope Catholic", written by a Catholic writer, Jerome Corsi.  Corsi started his article with:
“Is the pope Catholic?” goes the quip most Catholic faithful thought they would never ask, at least not seriously.
But with a series of recent pronouncements and decisions bucking papal tradition, Pope Francis has many Catholics wondering if the Catholic Church will survive his papacy.
Corsi went on with a litany of his complaints against Pope Francis, all of which we have heard and read ad nauseum over the course of this Papacy, and which can basically be summed up as Pope Francis' leniency towards non-Catholics, homosexuals and sinners in general.

But is Pope Francis really "bucking papal tradition" as Corsi accuses him?

With just a little more research, it is easy to discover just how orthodox Pope Francis is in his beliefs and theology, as follows.

On abortion:
"Human life is sacred and inviolable. Every civil right is based on the recognition of the first, fundamental right, the right to life, which is not subject to any condition, of a qualitative, economic and certainly not of an ideological nature." During an address to the Italian Movement for Life in April 2014.
Regarding same sex marriage:
“At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.” Letter to nuns of Buenos Aires, regarding a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children in Argentina, 6 July 2010
On Homosexuality:
"It needs to be emphasized that 'biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated'… It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality. Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator."  Amoris Laetitia, Paragraph 56.  
On the importance of the Catholic Church in the plan of salvation:
No one becomes Christian on his or her own! Is that clear? No one becomes Christian by him- or herself. Christians are not made in a laboratory. A Christian is part of a people who comes from afar. The Christian belongs to a people called the Church and this Church is what makes him or her Christian, on the day of Baptism, and then in the course of catechesis, and so on. But no one, no one becomes Christian on his or her own. If we believe, if we know how to pray, if we acknowledge the Lord and can listen to his Word, if we feel him close to us and recognize him in our brothers and sisters, it is because others, before us, lived the faith and then transmitted it to us. We have received the faith from our fathers, from our ancestors, and they have instructed us in it. . . Remember this well: to be Christian means belonging to the Church. The first name is “Christian”, the last name is “belonging to the Church. General Audience, June 25, 2014
On Jesus being the only way of salvation:
“The Lord thus clearly says: you cannot enter eternal life by any entryway that is not the door – that is not Jesus. He is the door of our life – and not only of eternal life, but also of our daily lives.” April 18, 2014 Homily at Santa Marta
On Marian theology:
The Mother of the Redeemer goes before us and continually strengthens us in faith, in our vocation and in our mission. By her example of humility and openness to God’s will she helps us to transmit our faith in a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to all, without reservation. In this way our mission will be fruitful, because it is modeled on the motherhood of Mary. To her let us entrust our journey of faith, the desires of our heart, our needs and the needs of the whole world, especially of those who hunger and thirst for justice and peace, and for God. Let us then together invoke her, and I invite you to invoke her three times, following the example of those brothers and sisters of Ephesus: Mother of God! Mother of God! Mother of God! Amen.  Homily, Vatican Basilica, January 1, 2014
I could go on to list hundreds and hundreds of statements made by Pope Francis which clearly show his orthodox beliefs and theology. So why do so many "catholics" think Pope Francis is Satan incarnate with the ultimate goal of destroying the Church?

It is really very simple. Pope Francis - like the Founder of the Catholic Church, Jesus Christ - refuses to condemn sinners. It is quite obvious from the above quotes that Pope Francis never hesitates to condemn sinful actions. But that is not enough for "catholic" bloggers. They, in essence, feel the biggest sin of all is to show kindness, compassion and mercy to sinners. To these "catholics", the only real mercy is condemnation.

Two thousand years ago the "common people" embraced Jesus Christ. These same "common people" were thoroughly denounced as sinners by the religious leaders of the day, who also denounced Jesus Christ because He, unlike them, accepted the "sinners". We see this repeated almost word-for-word with Pope Francis. Pope Francis looks at sinners and says, "I refuse to condemn you. Here is the right way to walk. Let me help you." Just as this was unacceptable to the religious of Jesus' day, so it is unacceptable to the religious of our day.

The only people Jesus ever condemned in his earthly ministry were these judgmental religious leaders. And I believe that far too many "catholic" bloggers and their followers are putting themselves in league with those whom Jesus condemned so many centuries ago. They are so sure of themselves and their own righteousness, so sure that they know everything they need to know, that there is nothing more for them to learn They refuse to listen to Christ's earthly representative. They have made themselves into the true enemy of the Catholic Church, just as the religious leaders of Jesus Day made themselves into His enemies.

These "catholic" bloggers are putting up stumbling block after stumbling block in front of people. Their rantings and ravings are driving people not toward Jesus Christ, but away from Him, to a false christ of their own making and to a catholic church that does not and never has existed. 

 
I am writing this on the Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary. We are also fast approaching the 100 anniversary of Fatima, whose message is as relevant today - maybe even more so - than when Mary gave it to us in 1917. The Catholic Church has always taught that Mary is the perfect path to Jesus Christ and to salvation. So it is good to look at Our Blessed Mother's attitude towards sinners and how she has instructed us regarding our duty to those outside of the Grace of God. 

The following are direct quotes from Our Lady of Fatima:
"I am the Lady of the Rosary, I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask for pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more, for He is already too grievously offended by the sins of men. People must say the Rosary. Let them continue saying it every day. "
"Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often, especially when you make some sacrifice, 'O my Jesus, this is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
"Pray, pray a great deal and make many sacrifices, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and to pray for them. "
"Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners? Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort."
"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
"When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: 'O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.' "
These statements show the way in which Our Blessed Mother wishes us to reach out to sinners. Notice there is nothing in any of these statements that says we are to approach sinners with words of condemnation. We are to pray and sacrifice for them. "Many souls go to hell" - why? "Because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them." Souls are not being lost because there is no one to condemn them, contrary to the philosophy of many "catholic" bloggers.

Jesus said the one unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  What is that?  Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is rejection of the Holy Spirit.  It is denouncing the Work of God as the work of the devil.  That is what the religious leaders in the time of Jesus did, and we are seeing it repeated today against Pope Francis and other hierarchy  in the Church.  

Jesus' mercy always extends to sinners.  But those who sin against the Holy Spirit put themselves outside of Jesus' mercy.  There is nothing more dangerous in all the universe than self righteousness and pride.  The all powerful love and mercy of Jesus Christ cannot even penetrate it.  That is why the fallen angels cannot be saved.  

The "catholic" internet has become a sewer of self righteousness and pride, and its spawn - hate and division.  Any one who truly wants to follow Jesus Christ must turn away from those who inhabit this sewer.  Pray for them, but do not listen to them and do not follow them, be they laity or cleric.  

Pope Francis is leading us in the way of mercy and compassion towards sinners, just as Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother have done.  Jesus Christ did not come to condemn but to save.  That should also be our goal.  We must reject anyone who wants only to condemn because that is not the way of Jesus Christ.  


6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Gunnar, I completely agree. CiB is unusual amongst Catholic bloggers in that she is both orthodox and compassionate! Not only that, but she actually reads what Pope Francis writes.

      I think it's interesting that Fr Dwight Longnecker (whose orthodoxy no one could possibly challenge) recently made a post similar to this one by CiB. He admitted that in the past, he had sometimes been judgemental and negative; he then said he would be making fewer posts - and that, when he did so, he would be positive in approach. Oh that certain 'Catholic' bloggers would follow the example of CiB and Fr. Dwight!

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    2. Thank you for those kind words. Your statement is my goal. The only *agenda* I want to push is promotion of the Gospel and loyalty to the Magesterium of the Catholic Church. There is nothing and no one else in this world that we can completely trust.

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    3. Incredible. Beautiful writing. Thank you.

      I was walking the faux-"traditionalist" road following my conversion five years ago but it hurt too much, and it didn't make sense for me - a man who was rescued from a life of heavy drinking, partying and serial adultery - to sneer down my nose at anybody else living in darkness. But I was conflicted : how do I honour the Church teachings that - with Christ's Grace - reordered my life and saved it, without despising those who are destroying themselves and others. Pope Francis has the answer, which is Jesus' answer : do not condemn them, help them, sacrifice for them, be Holy for their sake and your own, love them, because you,too, are one of them. Thank you for this post. Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.

      I saw the blackness of my faux-"traditionalist" approach once when I was praying with my wife, a kind woman who has stood with me through my darkest times over 18 years. I judged her posture and berated her harshly because she yawned while reciting an Our Father (it was late, she works hard). She started to cry, and crumpled onto the bed sobbing. Never have I seen the distance between my way and the Way (Jesus, of course) then I did at that point. I brought this to confession with my spiritual director, a faithful and merciful man who had been patiently listening to my faux-"traditionalist" rants with very little comment. He said something like this : " So now you begin to see another layer of evil in yourself : the selfishness of the life [partying, etc.] you were leading was exposed to the light - through Grace - and you've been repenting. But there is more, a deeper and more insidious hardness in your heart. Thank God you've seen it."

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    4. You have a very good spiritual director. Hang on to him.

      I believe we may be living in the most evil time in all of man's history. We condone the killing of unborn babies as a human right. We condemn the way of righteousness and applaud those who live in direct defiance of the natural law and God's law. So many of our people are spiritually dead.

      I also believe that in response to this great wickedness and evil, we have been given a man who is most probably one of the holiest of men to ever sit on the Chair of Peter. Pope Francis mirrors the mercy, love and compassion of Jesus Christ in a way I have never before witnessed. Read the gospels, and you will clearly see that Jesus NEVER condemned sinners. He always approached them with love, always waiting and open to them just as the father was with the prodigal son, never asking questions, just accepting.

      That is the way we are being shown by Pope Francis. Pray for those whose hearts are so hardened that they find only condemnation for the sinner. That is not the way of Christ, and it should not be the way of His followers. God is the judge, not us. Our job is to share the love and compassion and mercy of Jesus Christ.

      God bless you in your spiritual journey.

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