Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mr. Farrelly on how to get Catholics back to the practice of the Faith

For Christ's sake, will the Church please wake up!

I am not being blasphemous. I am making a prayerful plea and at the same time venting my frustration at what I have suddenly realised is perhaps the real reason seven of my eight grandchildren remain beautiful little pagans. No offence to all the other beautiful pagans out there – God made us all.

So far, so good. And I, and no doubt many others, shared the following sentiments too:

But my real frustration, my real anger, is directed at the Church and hence my opening prayer: For the sake of Christ, wake up.

Cardinals and bishops, please listen: Many of you are largely responsible for what is happening here. You are among the main reasons so many adults have stopped going to Mass and hence deciding that their children need not go to a Catholic/Christian school. You are in large part responsible for these little children remaining unbaptised and having only a secular education.

I know that you face extraordinary obstacles; I know that the you have not brought about the rampant materialism that so distracts people of all and of no faith from God and morality. But many of you seem unwilling or unable to deal with these challenges.

But then in the next paragraph the article, with which I was thitherto largely in agreement, took an ugly turn:

And to the minority of courageous bishops and cardinals who are trying to come to grips with these challenges and who know that the Church has to become more relevant to people's everyday lives, I say God bless you and thank you. And likewise to the many priests, nuns and brothers who walk the same path.

Ah, I see, so the Conciliar Church isn't 'relevant' enough for Mr. Farrelly and, according to him, lapsed Catholics. Hence:

It's long past time to accept that God made women and men equal. It's time to ask ourselves: if Jesus was standing physically among us right now, would he say women cannot be priests? Would he say priests can never marry? Would he come out of Sunday Mass feeling refreshed and stimulated by a homily that inspired and challenged him? Would he have an open mind to this suggestion: Allow single young men and women to become priests for a fixed period, say five to ten years, after which they could decide to stay on or leave to follow a different vocation.

This rightly elicited the following comment from one of the readers there:

Really? Did I miss the bit where Jesus commissioned apostles for 10 year contracts? If we're going to invoke the WhatWouldJesusDo clause, we need to be mindful of what Jesus did.

Posted By: Raphael Hythloday, West Melbourne

Basically, Mr. Farrelly and those of his ilk want the Church to follow the path of the Anglicans and the Uniting Church. But as the commenter "Barry" rightly observed,

I see no evidence of a better rate of adherence and practice in the Anglican and Uniting Churches.

Or as a commenter at Coo-ees more pungently put it (in a different discussion, but perfectly apposite here),

somnambulist said...

Brian when all the traces of catholicism are gone, especially the fancy clothes- you've got a bit of a fixation on that haven't you?- all the 86% will come flooding back to the inclusive, pro-gay, pro-divorced, pro adultery, believe anything Uniting Church type structure you wish we were. And we'll have a 100% attendance rate just like the Uniting Church has. Right.

December 01, 2008 7:33 PM

I'll finish here by dealing with a particularly perplexing comment at that CathNews article:

Margie Back is right: God has no grandchildren.
There is wholesale confusion between what Catholics call 'the faith' and the reality of Christian faith, an entirely different mode of being. It consists, as the Catholic Church teaches, in the surrender of one's whole being to Christ, True God and True Man. It is impossible to lose Christian faith once it has been given, since it requires submission of one's past, present and future to Christ Jesus.
It also means surrendering one's children and grandchildren, in fact all of one's possessions to Jesus the Christ. The faith on the other hand can be lost as soon as other cares occur.

Posted By: Alex Reichel, Oyster Bay

How odd. Usually one thinks of 'the Faith' as either the truths which God has revealed and to which we are required to assent or as the theological virtue with which one assents to those truths. One can truly have the virtue of Faith but later lose it by sinning against it, as Trent taught, but Dr. Reichel seems--and I stress seems; I don't want to make a rash judgment--to disagree. It's hard to tell, though, because having explained what he means by "the reality of Christian faith"--which would seem to correspond to 'the Faith' considered as a virtue--Dr. Reichel fails to explain what he means by "the faith", simply concluding that "[t]he faith on the other hand can be lost as soon as other cares occur". Can someone clarify this for me?

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Gregory Barbarigo, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2010

1 comment:

Matthias said...

Yiu know Cardinal I despair of our current society. people seem to be always wanting the easy path as this clown Farrelly shows. If the catholic church became like the UCA or the Anglicans then it is anything goes theology,cultural relevance but spiritual decadence.