Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ex-Catholics


I had an aunt whose motto for everyone was, "Pull yourself together, and get on with it", I entirely agree with Jeff Smith, I can hear Aunt Rose's sentiments ringing through his words but then I am also a soft wet liberal...


The yapping continues about the substantial number of former Catholics. Oddly, very few of the yappers seem to have noticed the most likely explanations, in their rush to blame 1. poor catechesis 2. Vatican II 3. bishops 4. priests 5. the vast left-wing conspiracy, for all I know. The blame seems to be placed everywhere, admittedly with some slight justification, except where the lion's share belongs.
The ones who should be bearing the blame are the individual skedaddlers, themselves. Three important points should be kept in mind. First, take a look at the Old Testament. God bent over backwards to give them undeniable evidence of His Presence. What? Twenty million miraculous interventions weren't enough? Yet, they still went "whoring after other gods" at the drop of a hat. It's the same today. You can catechize till the cows come home and surround a substantial portion of the population with saints, beauty, fellowship, free literature, coffee and donuts after Mass, and the Real Presence of the Lord God of Hosts and plenty of them still won't believe. Why? Well, "boredom" ( The American disease ), wounded feelings, unrealistic expectations, and general persnicketiness, for starters. The list is endless.
Second, since the 50's, the social pressure to "worship at the church or synagogue of your choice", as they used to say on television, has pretty much disappeared. The average self-deifying American just doesn't want to be bothered, and to use their favorite phrase "you can't make me." Case closed.
Third, try taking a look at the average
Evangelical/Fundamentalist/pie-in-the-sky-megachurch/prosperity gospel doors they tend to darken and you'll see what may be the main reason. Being a faithful, or even semi-faithful Catholic is hard work. Elsewhere, it's just "me and my best buddy Jesus". All you have to do is watch the dog and pony show every Sunday ( Unless you feel like skipping a week, here and there. ), read your Bible ( Unless you're too busy ), and talk to your best bud ( Good ol' Jesus ), who's more doting and lax in the discipline department than any baby-boomer grandparent. Could the real reason be old fashioned, spoiled brat laziness and willfulness?

10 comments:

Sadie Vacantist said...

"Ex-catholicsforchrist" have regular updates on youtube although their website seems down at the moment.

What struck me about their propaganda is how it equates to so much of what one hears WITHIN the Church - I have heard the same anti-Ratzinger material from those receiving communion at my local Cathedral.

I don't buy into the remarks by this "trad" catholic. Like all born-again conservatives he's about 30-40 years too late with his analysis and glib comments.

The feature of a modern social democracy is the complete indifference to religious tradition and not the outright hositility per se. As I have said I have encountered no more respect for the Pope from within the Church than I have without.

We have lived through an unprecedented apostasy these last 40 years (which is a long time!)and nobody wants to own up to this state of affairs nor address the issue. Indeed I watched an expensively produced piece of crap on DVD from "CAFE" - an organisation that seeks to affirm the apostasy rather than confront or even admit to it.

Many Catholic parishes have been turned into "deficient or not quite real churches" to quote Joseph Ratzinger. Many of us are no longer a Church - as in the Pope's understanding of the term. Many parishes are no different from "Excatholicforchrist" communities.

Rita said...

Sadie,

To call Jeffery a "trad" indicates that you may not have taken to heart what he is saying.

gemoftheocean said...

Bingo, bingo, and did I say BIMGO?

And if one person fails then they want to point to the person and say "see, they're all hypocrites, I'm not going to join the hypocrites."

The have amnesia about the church being a hospital for sinners rather than a museum of the perfect.

Sadie Vacantist said...

rita ~ what is he saying then? I couldn't care less what or who he is? I was interested in his comments and in particular the subject matter: "ex-Catholics". I responded on this subject suggesting that many Catholic parishes have ceased to be recognisably Catholic. I would be interested in your comments on the subject also.

Volpius Leonius said...

I've talked with a lot of these people Father and it seems to be that thay have all pretty much fell into the trap of making themselves their own God.

David Palmer said...

Quite!

Sadie Vacantist said...

Sorry guys ~ but my point is that many so called "practicing" catholics have these last 40 years lapsed. I have obviously failed to make it properly.

For example, I was interviewed for the priesthood in my youth by a seminary rector who has since gone to prison. Looking back to those interviews it is now clear to me that this man did not believe in anything remotely Catholic. Yet he stayed in that job for 8 years. Assisted in the formation of scores of students but I can assure you his crimes and conviction were just "the tip of the iceberg" as far as his faith problems were concerned. If anything, his sex crimes were the least of his worries although that is no consolation to his victims of course.

Mercifully, there are not as many criminal inclined individuals like that good Monsignor. My experience however, is that there are many Catholics (priests and laity) who continue to "practice" their faith and hold positions of authority within the Church who are experiencing a similar crisis of faith to that of the Monsignor.

Before we complain about the lapsed, let's take a good look at the remnant. Let's take a good look at ourselves. The picture is not good.

There are atheists at the very heart of the Church. A point I once heard made by a trappist monk during a retreat. He claimed that atheism was the biggest problem facing modern monasticism for example. The last 40 years, in particular, would support this claim.

John said...

One of those recently lapsed...he's gone into Orthodoxy....lives not far from you Father. I was very disappointed in his lapsation, but not altogether surprised.
My thought go to those words which I recite every morning in the invitatory Psalm.(94)
For forty years I was wearied of these people,
and I said, their hearts are astray,
These people do not know my ways.
Then I took an oath in my anger:
Never shall they enter into my rest.

What a condemnation on these people!
"Never shall they enter into my rest"

For quite a number of years now, I have had to come to the very sad conclusion, that the vast majority of people dying now, are on the way to Hell.

My most fervent prayer is that my relatives are not amongst them. But I most sincerely fear for them.

JARay

Fr Ray Blake said...

John, I know who you speak of, someone whose integrity who has always impressed me.

The final end of anyone depends on the justice and mercy of God but times I wonder about those inside the Church who have done little to make Christ either known or visible in the world. Maybe, we might be condemned as unprofitable servants, or cut down as fig trees that produce no fruit.

Volpius Leonius said...

13 Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. 14 How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. 24 Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. 28 And it came to pass when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine. 29 For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees. Matthew 7

23 And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: 24 Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able. 25 But when the master of the house shall be gone in, and shall shut the door, you shall begin to stand without, and knock at the door, saying: Lord, open to us. And he answering, shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are.

24 "Shall seek"... Shall desire to be saved; but for want of taking sufficient pains, and being thoroughly in earnest, shall not attain to it.

26 Then you shall begin to say: We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 And he shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are: depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. Luke 13