"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.... A man's foes will be those of his own household.... He who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.... He who loses his life for My sake will find it.... He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.... He shall not lose his reward."
– Matthew 10:34,36,38,39,40,42
|St. Benedict of Nursia – patron of Europe|
I have missed Sunday Mass for the last two weeks. I have begun wondering why I should even bother attending. The reaction of the Church in New York to the imposition of "homosexual marriage" indicates to me that many (if not most) of the bishops of the Church don't really believe what the Church teaches.
I have begun wondering if I should even bother remaining a Catholic.
Imagine a child being born today and raised in the Church. Would that child have a good chance at achieving the salvation of its soul? There are so many unorthodox teachings that are widely accepted within the Church and tolerated if not supported by the bishops that I don't know how much being a member of the Church brings us closer to God.
As a result of the publicity that has been shined on the Church by the "homosexual marriage" debate, I have learned that there are "homosexual parishes" in Boston and New York. How can this be? Why do the archbishops of Boston and New York tolerate this?
The sex abuse scandal within the Church is undeniably linked to poisonous teachings that found there way into the seminaries. One of those teachings was that homosexuality was not a sin.
We hear that the sex abuse scandal is behind us. But I disagree. The fact that the American bishops do not thunderously express their opposition to "homosexual marriage" says that the moral crisis in the Church continues and in fact is even deeper entrenched than 20 or 30 years ago. This moral crisis is the ultimate source of the sex abuse scandal.
The bishops have now institutionalized immoral teachings. The reason we don't hear a deafening denunciation of "homosexual marriage" from the bishops is that the teaching that homosexuality is a sin has been abandoned by many of them.
Don't they understand that the teachings of the Church come from God?
The proof of this – if one needs proof – is the way that the teachings form a divine architecture. Each piece is like a keystone. If only one piece is removed the whole building collapses and comes crashing to the ground.
Father Joseph Mary has delivered a stunning homily on this topic. He does not rant as others sometimes do when addressing these same topics, but in his homily he clearly shows us the consequences on society of the loosening of the moral order.
Once we abandon our common moral principles and each individual is allowed to form his or her own morality, then the society loses its cohesiveness. This leads to a never ending power struggle among different factions in society. This instability causes a breakdown of society which threatens to end in anarchy. In a desperate attempt to avert disaster society turns to a despot to restore order.
Father Joseph also reminds us that Archbishop Dolan of New York was one of the signers of the Manhattan Declaration. Here is the concluding statement from that declaration.
Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's.Archbishop Timothy Dolan would do well to study Father Joseph's homily in order to learn how to preach the Gospel without compromise.
St. Benedict of Nursia, patron of Europe, you brought the light of Christ to the world through the monasteries you established. Ora pro nobis. Pray for us.
UPDATE (July 12):
Here is an excerpt from the speech by Cardinal Raymond Burke titled "The Fall of the Christian West" given in March 2011. (Father Joseph refers to this speech at the end of his homily.)
Finally, there is the martyrdom of witness, the most common form of martyrdom, the martyrdom which is inherent to the Christian life. It can take the form of suffering personal hostility or simply indifference in giving the witness of holiness of life. The Servant of God Father Hardon describes the martyrdom of witness with these words:
All that we have seen about the martyrdom by violence applies here too, but the method of opposition is different. Here the firm believer in the Church's teaching authority; the devoted servant of the papacy; the convinced pastor who insists on sound doctrine to his flock; the dedicated religious who want to remain faithful to their vows of authentic poverty, honest chastity and sincere obedience; the firm parents who are concerned about the religious and moral training of their children and are willing to sacrifice generously to build and care for a Christian family – natural or adopted – such persons will not be spared also active criticism and open opposition, But they must especially be ready to live in an atmosphere of coldness to their deepest beliefs.The hostility and the even more pervasive indifference to the beliefs we hold most dearly tempts us to discouragement and even to avoid the more public witness to our faith. But the martyrdom to which we are called and for which we are consecrated and fortified by the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, requires us to offer tirelessly our witness, confident that God will bring forth the good fruit. Given the breakdown in family life, the wholesale attack on innocent and defenseless human lives, and the violation of the integrity of the union of marriage in our society, the call to the martyrdom of witness is ever more urgent.