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.