It is perhaps useful to reflect a bit about the different ways Catholics see hell. This will certainly not be new to any reader, but might be of some use for the non-readers of their acquaintance.
Probably a sizeable minority of baptised Catholics do not believe in hell. They are in most cases not aware that this is contradiction with Christian teaching. Hell is simply not on their radar screen, the priests they occasionally talk to accurately avoids the subject (he is so focused on being “nice”, you know) and, on the rare occasions when they darken the doors of a church, for example for a funeral, Father is so full of implicit heavenly promises the thought would never occur to them that hell really is an option. It is noted that some theologians of fame defend this position by making of hell an empty place – which amounts to the same, plus useless work, and also to saying that Jesus has been lying to us these 2000 years -. One of them was slated, if memory serves, to become Cardinal.
Then there is the “Hitler and Stalin” crowd. Yes, hell exists, but not for me or anyone I know. Normal people, nice guys and lads who are so good at telling jokes, can certainly not go to hell. Look, he invited me to a barbecue! Come on, this is a loving heart, how can he go to hell? These group are hardly pressed to say who goes to hell, because their scarce knowledge of history does not allow them to make even many examples of evil people. What is clear is that they must be seriously, seriously evil. Therefore, in their everyday life hell plays no role whatever, and “fear of The Lord” is to them a very abstract concept. One can be a sodomite suddenly died whilst sodomising his “partner” and they will never have the shadow of a doubt; “love” and all that, you know….
Then there are those who have been properly instructed. They know that Jesus’ insistence on hell can only mean hell is a concrete possibility for everyone of us, and why we cannot know the numbers, we do know the rules: if one dies whilst not in a state of grace, he is doomed. This group have a far more realistic expectation about their danger: they know it is real, and no one of the people they know is exempt from some degree of danger. These people have fear of the Lord, know what it means and teach their children to have the same attitude.
Now we can make a simple game, and try to estimate how many out of 100 baptised Catholics, say, in our country, belong in each group. Then we can go on theorising an abstract level of risk among the categories, obviously considering that those who do not fear hell will have very little fear of the Lord in their daily lives, and those who think hell is a very difficult place to land to will not be much better situated. Lastly, we can think of how the clergy will be situated who have, for an entire lifetime, kept the dangers of hell away from their sheep, or have not believed in hell in the first place.
Suddenly, hell becomes a very concrete possibility.
Very intelligent and perceptive video from Michael Voris. He examines the difference between the Anglo-Saxon countries (I include the UK), where the Catholic hierarchy has been occupied for decades with appeasing the Protestants, and Continental Europe, where the Catholic hierarchy has been occupied for decades with appeasing everyone, that is: mainly Catholics. And in fact, a European landing in the US would immediately notice the strong religious feeling still present there, at least compared with the standards he knows. Similarly, a Continental European moving to the UK would clearly notice how protestantised Catholicism has become, when compared to what he sees in traditional Catholic countries.
Voris expresses some intelligent concepts:
a) Protestantism leads to atheism. This is particularly evident in Europe, where one and a half generation of Communism could only scratch the surface in the religious feeling of Catholics – whose religious faith is now coming back with a vengeance, see Poland, Hungary – but completely annihilated Protestantism, that has been wiped out as religious belief from, say, the former DDR and has become nothing more than an embarrassed talk about social justice by people in funny clothes.
I had wished to hear such words from Pope Benedict during his recent visit in Germany. Alas, we got a visit to Luther’s sanctuary in Erfurt instead. Mala tempora currunt.
b) Atheism doesn’t develop overnight. It is rather the result of a gradual process, where the failure to transmit the truths of the faith leads to a slippery slope gradually ending in the cessation of the faith in God. Once again, I’d say that the empirical evidence confirms this analysis, and the only ones who can’t see it are the priests of the V II generation.
c) The solution of the problem is to rediscover Catholicism. Which seems easy to say, but implies the rejection of that protestantised “do not judge”, “love and do what you like”, “heart in the right place”, “provided you believe in God you’ll be fine”- mentality that is the standard fare of so much of nowadays Catholicism in the UK; if not explicitly so, certainly in the message that it is desired the sheep take home with them.
As I have opined very often, the problems of Catholicism are largely self-made. They are the product of five decades of self sabotage planned and executed from the Catholic Clergy, in what might well be the most insidious – if not the most spectacular – attack moved by Satan to the Church of Christ in these last two thousand years. It is, in my eyes, pure folly to say that the diffuse secularism of the modern world is the fruit of its unprecedented wealth. The United Stated is the most powerful, and its citizen among the wealthiest on the planet, but the religious feelings there are still rather strong. Similarly, we all know people who are very rich and strongly religious, and people who are poor and atheist.
Faith is nothing to do with wealth, it is about being properly instructed.
Rediscover Catholicism. This is the only way.
Is there one area, just one area of the faith that the modernist, hippie, liberal, progressive, watered-down-the-faith, bongo-pounding, liturgy-destroying, church-wreckovation modernist crowd has not destroyed?
This asks Michael Voris in this brilliant video and I’m afraid that – if we consider “destroyed” in a sociological rather than sacramental meaning – we know the answer.
This video is not about the travesty in drags proposed by our pervert community, but about the real thing. The dramatic drop in marriages is – as the Catholics in the United States clearly haven’t developed a sudden desire for collective bachelorhood – obviously linked to the downplaying of this sacrament by the liberal clergy . Voris actually puts it stronger than that, defining such shepherds as “liberal or gay* or modernist priests” and pointing out to an issue that should be discussed more often, that is: priests who are liberal because they’re homosexual.
Homosexual or not homosexual, many a priest has a very comfortable “let’s wait” attitude, which is in the best case similar to a “can’t be bothered” attitude, and in the worst to a “I agree with you” attitude. The idea is that, given time, everything adjusts itself and the prodigal (but oh so nice; and with the heart in the right place; and certainly environmentally friendly) sons and daughters will come back to marriage and sacramental life once they are settled.
“Are you mental!? No they do not come back!”,, is Voris’ emphatic answer. And in fact you must ask yourselves how would parents be considered who, seeing their children taking drugs and drifting toward alcoholism, reacts by saying “hey, no big deal; they’ll stop in due time”, and how many of those unfortunate teenagers would grow up to be responsible adults rather than, alas (can I say that without anyone being “hurt”?) junkies and drunkards. There’s a reason why a priest is called “father” instead of, say, “favourite, all-forgiving grand-grandmother”: his duty is to give guidance, to reproach when it is suitable, and to be able of showing some tough love when necessary.
The protestantisation of the liturgy has led us to this, because the protestantisation of the liturgy unavoidably leads to the protestantisation of the theology.
This unless even worse – like a homosexual priest pursuing his own diabolical agenda – is at play. Voris again refers to the problem when he invites his listeners to check that his priest is not a “less than ideal model of masculinity-priest” and he once again makes a connection with this and the “social justice”, “inclusiveness” mania.
The last remark is a rather general one, but valid nonetheless: in a very general sense, liberal priests are sawing off the branch they’re sitting on, as those “modern couples” who never came back are unlikely to fund their retirement.
A brilliant video, and one which in my eyes denotes Voris’ new, rather stronger stance about homosexuality both inside and outside the clergy.
* “gay” means here, strangely enough, “homosexual”.
I cannot say that I always agree with Michael Voris. I remember an extremely questionable “vortex” about homosexuality, another about the best form of government for a Catholic country, a third (very recent) holding a rather extreme (though by no means isolated) view about how many people are saved; and if I must say it all, I also confess to a strong dislike of his post-68 style of dressing; things like jacket without tie, or jacket over casual trousers…but I digress.
Very often, though, I agree with what he says. Take the video above for example, a passionate defence of Truth over convenience, and proper instruction over “niceness”.
False charity doesn’t work and whilst most priests still don’t get the message, most bloggers do. Blogging is – in most cases – not their profession and the reason they blog is that – be they clergy or laity – they want a message to be spread, that they see not sufficiently talked about. Their blogging is the reaction to the utter failure of the professional clergy – collectively seen, and with the usual exceptions – to do a proper job.
This mentality has, in the last half century, sent countless faithful to their grave with a gospel of “niceness” at all costs and “celebration” as absolute centre of their spiritual life whose usefulness in the economy of their salvation can only be described as tragically inadequate.
No, blogs don’t have to “be nice” and come to that, priests don’t have to be it either. What they must be is truthful, crystal clear, assertive, uncompromising. It is not a surprise that the call to more “niceness” would apparently come from the same “establishment” (to use Voris’ words) that has, through its lack of truthfulness and love for harmony at all costs, caused the explosion of Catholic blogging in the first place. By calling for a non-divisive approach, they show that they still haven’t got the message that the Church is divisive, because the Church is in opposition to the world.
There is, I am afraid, no escape from this. The very moment you open your mouth and say that you’re a Catholic, you must know that you have no other choice but fight or appeasement. It must be so, because human nature is so. Being a Catholic – and saying it – means being unpopular among many, being vilified at times, being considered “uncharitable” by those who have made of niceness a religion, being considered “divisive” by those for whom inclusiveness comes before Truth. But it also means doing your duty, being a small but willing soldier of Christ, helping others to know the Truth, and avoiding becoming accessory to other people’s sins. Whoever has told you that to “fight the good fight” meant to “celebrate the inclusive celebration” was wrong.
Most bloggers will continue not to be very “nice” I am afraid. At least until the clergy will continue to be it.
Absolutely brilliant entry (some months old, but with all its freshness intact) of One Timothy Four about the various distortions of how the media and public opinion deal with the issue of the (homosexual) paedophile priest scandal. This article is notable because it comes from someone who, though in the meantime a full-fledged Catholic (and I mean real Catholic, not soi-disant one) had indirect but credible experience of the Anglican part of the matter. This is not to say that the Anglicans are particularly affected from the problem, or that the problem is exclusive competence of Christian denominations; only that it does help to put a thing or two in the right context.
Let us see the most salient phrases of this extremely interesting contribution:
there is good evidence (largely ignored by the media) that the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church and elsewhere grew in direct relationship to generalized sexual liberation
The BBC will never tell you this. The winds of “modernity” (or modernism) blowing after Vatican II carried with them a kind of “tolerance” bound not to stop in front of any sin. If we start saying in the seminaries that “it doesn’t help to see things in terms of sin” – I think this is another pearl of wisdom from our less-than-beloved Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent “Quisling” Nichols; but I smell a “fashionable” turn of phrase here – how can we be surprised if any kind of sin, even the worst, will be seen “not in terms of sin”? What is the concept of sin for, if not for the sin to be seen as such?
Growing up in the cofE, I can remember from a very young age being aware – thankfully not through personal experience – of Anglican clergy who had been allowed to quietly fall from grace because of ‘little boys’
(all emphases mine)
It would seem that this is not something suddenly exploded within the Church and before non-existent outside of Her.
And as an adult in the cofE, one continues to be aware on a slightly too regular basis of Anglican clergy who have been caught with child pornography on their computers or having been more directly involved in child sexual abuse.
This is not the golden past, this is the actual situation. Something the BBC never tells you anything about. Particularly if there’s a Pope coming, or some homo shouting “discrimination!”.
Limiting myself to my direct contemporaries at Anglican theological college, one has certainly been convicted of having child pornography on his computer and others have suffered directly and indirectly through Anglican clerical abuse. The one who has been caught is male, as most but not all abusers are, but also married (with children of his own) and is an enthusiast for women priests – so those who like to blame clerical abuse of children in the Catholic Church on priestly celibacy and negativity towards women need to think again, and stop using abuse to further other agendas.
This is very beautifully said. Abuse within the Anglican so-called church seems not to spare priestesses and to also affect married men with children. Oh well, this is the same that happens all over the world then! Very strange, I thought that in order to become a child abuser one had to have chosen celibacy…..
But the Anglican examples barely and only momentarily make the press, and – to throw the net wider – what about the widespread abuse of children and young people in secular care systems, and at the hands of the members of other caring professions where the breach of trust is surely every bit as heinous despite the fact the perpetrator does not wear a clerical collar?
Another very perceptive observation: not only are the Anglicans generally spared from the ire of the press, but for example the NHS seems to make headlines more for superbugs than for reasons related with their own people. The superbug allows the liberal press to attack the government at ease, the abuse issue would pose uncomfortable questions and demand a wider debate about the (homosexual) Catholic priest abuse issue, too.
The particular and real phenomenon of abuse by men who should never have been ordained as priests in the first place is being used: a) to distract us from the other many and varied forms of child abuse to which secular society continues to turn a blind eye; and b) as a generally useful and hefty stick with which to attempt to beat the Catholic Church into submission over other issues on which it and its teaching challenge secular society – such as describing homosexual inclination as a psychological and moral disorder.
Nothing to add here…..
…there is no excuse for using the abuse of children by particular Catholic priests to misdirect the attention of society away from its manifestation in institutions and contexts that are dear to the liberal heart but which haven’t shown anything like the same will as the Catholic Church now does to do something about child sexual abuse, and all because it doesn’t present a useful opportunity to bash the Pope.
…. or here.
A brilliant analysis. We should repeat these concepts and defend these arguments everytime the issue comes out among our friends and acquaintances either seriously misinformed or in the mood for an ego trip. In time, the wider public will start having a wider and more balanced perception of the problem.
Beautiful blog entry on the Holy Post blog (motto: “get down on your knees and blog”) about the Papal visit.
Instead of (excessively) focusing on the popularity of the Pontiff and the unexpected (and the more remarkable) success of the visit the post’s author, Father R.J. de Souza, points out to the fact that in the end it is not about what the press calls “success”, at all.
On the aeroplane to England, Pope Benedict was asked what he could do to make the Church more attractive. The Pontiff answered:
“One might say that a church which seeks above all to be attractive would already be on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for itself, does not work to increase its numbers so as to have more power” […]. The Church does not seek to be attractive, but rather to make herself transparent for Jesus Christ.”
Father de Souza wonders how many pastors – Catholic as well – take these words to heart and everyone living in England knows how right he is. “Attractiveness” and “popularity” are the main drivers of the British clergy’s actions and are what has emptied not only the pews, but the people’s minds after the systematic destruction of proper catechesis.
Father de Souza again:
“Consider the relentless pressure on all churches to trim ancient doctrine or adapt moral teaching to something more in tune with — well, what exactly? The latest shifting sands of public opinion? There have been churches that have changed wholesale their teaching in such efforts, now celebrating as holy what they previously taught was sinful. Should they be considered more or less successful for making themselves attractive?”
And are they really? Or are they not dying, all of them? I’d very much like to see how many English Anglicans or Methodist would call their churches “successful”. “Terminally ill”, more like.
Further, one might ask attractive to whom? The British visit occasioned many people who wish the Catholic Church nothing but ill to advise her on how to conduct herself. Why should Catholics measure their own success on the criteria of their enemies? Or consider the judgment of mass culture; should the Church seek to appeal more to the same people who choose, for entertainment purposes, to watch in large numbers people embarrass and degrade themselves on reality television?
I admit that I loathe reality television, so I liked this in a special way; I also notice the use of the small “c” in “churches”, always a welcome token or orthodoxy. But what I liked the most is that Fr de Souza points out to the fact that people who hate the Church must never be allowed to influence it. Not when it is about defining “success” nor, I hasten to add, when it is about their sensitive “feelings”.
Success is not about how many people were there. Nor about whether one had flowers or stones thrown at him. Success is about why the stones (or the flowers) were thrown.
Pope Benedict has put the right accents on his visit and struck the right cords. He has been diplomatic, but not accommodating and has shown a clarity of thought and decisiveness of action that Brits had forgotten a long time ago.
This is the real measure of his success.
Short, interesting and as always very entertaining video from Father Corapi about the opportunity of trying to convert other Christians to Catholicism.
Besides the obvious wisdom of father Corapi’s words, there is an element I’d like to stress. The person implicitly accusing Fr Corapi of “wanting everybody to be Catholic” (and being “deadly serious” as he says that) was not a Presbyterian pastor, or a Protestant layman. This person, completely missing the grace imparted through the Eucharist and the Catholic sacramental life and totally oblivious of the role and function of the Church, was a Catholic priest.
The conversation clearly happened a couple of decades ago and it is reassuring to see that at the “wanting everyone to be a Catholic” moment the public understands the absurdity of the other priest’s position and happily laugh.
That Fr Corapi felt the necessity to instruct the other priest about the fact that “God doesn’t do useless things” (and we are talking here of Sacraments like the Eucharist and the Confession, not about a corkscrew or a safety-pin) really says it all about what was happening among the clergy of the Only Church.
I am rather confident that if would be, if not impossible, certainly much less probable to find a priest failing his vocation and his Catholicism in such a spectacular way today than it would have been some twenty years ago, particularly among younger priests. Still, it goes to show that the “education” and “intelligence” Father Corapi praises in his old interlocutor are not worth much if the faith is not there, or the intelligence has been used to pervert the teaching of the Church.
At the top of this page you will find a link called “The Quotable Catholic”, a collection of short and mostly easy to memorise phrases meant to be a handy Catholic armoury for yourself and your little, ahem, online confrontations. I re-read them regularly in order to let the wisdom of those great Catholics be slowly absorbed. Father Corapi (easily the most represented in this little collection) is there with a little gem I always found wonderful:
My grandmother, who had only an eighth grade education, knew more than many theologians because she knew the Truth.
One listens to the video and understands how right the man is.