Saturday, March 27, 2010
My People are Suffering!
It is the same with the Pope or the Holy See, whatever is said, no one will listen. One clear answer is dismissed, followed by yet another stream of questions; the questions are always accusatory rarely in search of an answer. Whatever the reply, the questioners only see more guilt or cover-up.
A friend walking to a church in Rome to offer Mass had, “Paederasta!” shouted at him. One of my parishioners has started wearing her crucifix on a longer chain so it is less visible, after one of her customers asked if she was a Catholic, then gave her a long diatribe on the evils of the Catholic Church.
The problem is there is going to be no end to this, it is going to get worst, journalists smell blood, there are going to be more revelations. In England the sophisticated now come out with the same rants against the Church, as the Orange Order or the Protestant Truth Society might have done 50 years ago. It is open season on the “whore of Rome”. In other parts of Europe the old anti-clericalism will arise again.
In Germany and Austria marginal members of the Church are leaving in their thousands, by declaring they will no longer pay “Church Tax”. In Ireland there is a campaign to remove names from baptismal certificates by signing a formal declaration of “opting out”. The faithful are shaken, they will gather in the shadow of the Cross or leave.
During his time as Prefect of the CDF the Pope often spoke of the Church of the future being smaller but more faithful. It looks very much as if that is happening at the moment, the faithful remain, the weak in faith and the unfaithful will depart.
Already that has happened in part, most priests and religious see themselves as the last in the line, when they die no-one will replace them. Every Lent I am shocked by the decrease in the number of Confessions. So many have rejected the Church’s ancient teaching on contraception. Hardly anyone who marries in England is not already living and having sexual intercourse with their partner. Children leave our Catholic schools already indoctrinated with atheism or at best see the sacraments as irrelevant. Even the elderly who have lived a pious life care little about receiving the sacraments before death.
There is no quick or easy solution to this new passion of the Church, catechesis is obviously the answer but where does one begin, who does the catechesis, who will accept it?
Like everything else in Christianity, the answer is the Cross. Who will accept it?
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