Monday, August 04, 2014

Credible Witnesses


My friend Fr Z writes about neo-martyrs crucified by ISIS. Since the Vatican Council it is easy to think that apart from one or two internal problems the Church lives in vibrant sunshine but of course the Church lives constantly with the blood of its children, thatThe great crisis of  Church is one of faith, fat sleek bishops, comfortable middle-class priests, nuns who embrace a secular agenda are hardly credible witnesses but is why the Pope has since the mid fourth century worn blood red shoes, and the Roman Pontiff's correct dress isn't the white cassock but blood red ornaments that are worn over it. The Church walks in blood, her clothes are spattered with blood. If there is no blood flowing in streams from her children, then the Church is a dead thing. It is the blood of Christ and his saints that gives her life and is a sign of her being alive. 

Without martyrdom there is no Church. The Way of Christ is the Way of the Cross and Christians are called to embrace it. As a priest the faithful have every right to ask me, "Father, would you be willing to die for our faith?" Fortunately no one has recently, and to be honest I don't know what my answer would be, I know what it should be, 

We are all called to be martyrs, the Greek word 'witness' is martyr. It strikes me that in the West we no longer have credible witnesses. Down the ages the number of children, of ordinary men and women, has far exceeded the number of  bishops and priests. The great crisis of  Church is one of faith, fat sleek bishops, comfortable middle-class priests, nuns who embrace a secular agenda hardly give the sign of being credible witnesses.

Perhaps the question, 'Would you be willing to die for our faith?' should be one we all ask ourselves and one another, especially our leaders and professional Catholics, for not only should we be willing to die for our faith but live for it too.

6 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

I have to admit that it irritates me NO end that Pope Francis does not wear the red shoes. Is he really that clueless as to what he is "not saying?" It's just bad that in so many ways he does not understand what image he is projecting. Or in his case not projecting. It seems he doesn't like or "get" symbolism at all. You wonder if he'd wear a business suit if he thought he could get away with it.

Joe Potillor said...

Excellent post, Father!

Gem, unfortunately, I don't think Pope Francis is clueless, I think he rather knows that he's communicating an ostentatious humility...it's just he's so stubborn, he refuses to change the obvious distracting behavior....Oh I'm sure he'd wear a business suit.....His Liturgical minimalism is just an exterior sign of what you are saying :)

Liam Ronan said...

There are, in my opinion, many 'dry martyrs' in the Western Church. Those who stand as unshakeable witnesses for Christ and the 2000 year doctrinal tradition of His Holy Church.

Scandalously their 'martyrdom' is, more often than not, at the hands of treacherous and venomous co-religionists among whom are numbered cardinals, bishops, priests, etc.

JARay said...

I confess that I do often wonder if I would have the fortitude to accept a martyr's death. I hope that I would and I also do not see it happening to me. For most of my life I have had as my hero St. Edmund Campion and I even took his name as my Confirmation name. My biggest fear is that I would have to go down fighting.
I am not going to make any comment about the Papacy.

Jacobi said...

You raise a matter of critical importance Father, with hundreds of Catholic being killed and thousands displaced in Iraq, and Syria, and possibly in Lebanon and certainly in several countries now in Africa at the interface between Christian and Muslim Africa.

Yet in the West our bishops and priests, who do not face death yet, avoid sticking their heads above the parapet and allow the Secularists to dominate society unchallenged, possibly because many of them and the Catholic laity are secularised.

But the time will come in areas of abortion, homosexuality, gender identity, you name it, when they will have to publicly choose.

Then we will see how many Catholic martyrs there are!

viterbo said...

You live the Faith, Father; surely as hard as dying for it.