Some Words To A Disappointed Future Convert.
Let us imagine (it is theoretical; but not so much) that someone came to me saying that he is thinking of converting to Catholicism, but in light of the most recent developments he is now in doubt whether to continue on this road.
What I would say to him? Would I be able to give to him some words of encouragement? Would I suggest to him that he goes on along the chosen path and toward conversion to a Church led by the likes of Archbishop Mueller?
Yes of course I would. I would in the most decided of ways. Let me explain why, so that the one or other friendly Proddie thinking of taking the best decision of his (eternal) life may not be tempted into falling back into heresy and, perhaps, perdition.
Out of my sleeve, the arguments I would use are described below. I invite the readers to add other arguments in order to help our imaginary (but not so much) friend.
As the need to help this imaginary (but not so much) friend might be rather pressing and I have no time to revisit my books on the matter, si sbalio mi corigerete… I would, therefore, argument as follows:
1. The Church is the Truth. The Church (as the eternal institution, the Bride of the Lord) can simply not be separated from the Truth. You cannot think the Church as separated from being the Truth more than you could think of water as separated from being wet.
2. “Church” is a very complex word. The building where the mass takes place is called “church”, but the members of that parish are also called “church”. A family (even a nuclear family) is called “church” (ecclesia domestica). A diocese is also called “church”. The faithful in that diocese are called church, too. The different rites of Catholicism are all called “churches”. Then there is the Church who is, on earth, the visible manifestation of the Bride of Christ. But it does not stop there, as Church is intended, in its ultimate meaning, as a heavenly organisation. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus refers to this last one. To belong to the Church means to belong to the heavenly Bride of Christ, not to agree to the more or less heretical blabbering of bad priests, bad bishops and bad popes.
3. The Church representatives are (here on earth) not always right, and at times plain wrong. I have given my take about infallibility, and reading the blog post might help the one or the other. But the fact that we must always, always keep in mind is that the Truth that the Church is is not less true because God allows her representatives (as he did Judas) to wound her. This is not the protestant church down the street, whose raison d’être for the faithful ceases the moment they stop agreeing with the pastor.
4. The Church has the right to our obedience even when we are forced to disobey to her representatives. If the bishop asks me to participate to some Friday service of some Muslims, I say “no” and don’t care two straws if he says to me that I must do it to promote ecumenism, or to give testimony of my Catholicism, or for “peace and understanding”, or because he orders it. The “first rule of the Italian army” applies: wrong orders are not executed. I do this, because I owe obedience to the Bride of Christ before I do to the bishop. As always, Archbishop Lefebvre explains this much better than I ever could.
5. The Church is not questioned, she is simply obeyed. As to her representative, the way they will be obeyed (or esteemed) will depend from the way they do their job. This is the reason why even among popes – as among bishops, etc. – some are considered wonderful, some very good, some so-so, some positively mediocre, and some unmitigated disasters. Still, Padre Pio’s saying still stands, that we must love the Church even if she kills us.
In my eyes, a person of prompt intellect and ripe understanding will draw from these arguments enough energy to not only weather the present storm, but be sufficiently prepared for a life of storms, as other one or two or three generations of this madness might be the lot the Lord has allotted to us, probably to punish us for our sins, and perhaps also so that we may train our virtues.
The fundamental step is, in my eyes, the abandonment of the purely Protestant thinking based on which an institution loses credibility if we happen to think their leaders are behaving badly.
Petrus did behave badly, though he recovered in the end. He had to be publicly rebuked by Paul, even, then Paul was no retiring wallflower, and did not suffer under clericalism.
The Church will be with me forever, and I will be with her forever. I will be faithful to her until my last breath, and if the Pope begins to dance in his tutu on St. Peter Square to promote understanding among the people this will not change my allegiance to the Church. Not-one-bit. It would be better for me to die of a horrible death before reaching that point, than to live 120 years of purest unalloyed happiness after deciding that I do not need the Bride.
I hope this helps.
Posted on July 6, 2012, in Bad Shepherds, Catholicism and tagged Archbishop Mueller, Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism, Conversion to Catholicism, Heresy, Padre Pio. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.