"The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort — you were made for greatness." So says Pope Benedict a couple of years ago.
It's funny how popes so frequently seem to be ahead of the game in their observations of the world. They're oftentimes pretty keen on their observations of brother bishops.
For example, Pope Francis has nailed the situation in saying that many bishops are careerist airport bishops who never stay put in their diocese and are always flying all over the place trying to advance their own careers and agendas. Cardinal Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict, said something even more considerable of his brother bishops.
At an ordination in 1984, he said that we have a generation of malformed bishops, and we as a Church are just going to have to weather the storm until they have all passed from the scene. As events are proving, this storm isn't going to break anytime soon.
Just one look at the rather pathetic responses from some of America's ruling churchmen in response to the evil unleashed on the country by the Supreme Court last week proves the point.
The limp-wristed, effeminate "Let's not hurt anyone's feelings" responses is actually beyond pathetic. Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago is a case in point. Reading his response, you aren't even sure what he's talking about. We must learn how to deal with this from our faith experience blah blah.
How about saying, "This is evil and souls will go to Hell because of it and we must fight for souls so we must fight it"?
Shift down to Atlanta Georgia to Abp. Wilton Gregory's advice — which makes Abp. Cupich sound like he is speaking from the Council of Trent. Archbishop Gregory actually has the audacity to counsel Catholics not to be abrupt and condemning and attacking.
Excuse me, Excellency — take a look at this picture; seriously consider all that has gone into this picture — what it represents — and then tell us, faithful Catholics, that we shouldn't be condemning or attacking. What has gone into this picture is the belief that Hell doesn't exist — or at least no one goes there.
And think about that for a moment: This picture is the cultural translation of what Fr. Robert Barron preaches — that we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved, including this fellow dressed down as a she-devil mocking the truth. How can any Catholic look at scenes like this — much less a priest pushed and promoted continually by American bishops as a good man to listen to — and conclude that all men are saved?
We aren't saying anything of the disposition of the soul of that man holding the sign; no one knows that except God — but the ideology he is promoting is straight from Hell itself, and because of it, souls do go to Hell.
But this is what you get when you get malformed clergy, who abandon Catholic tradition — which, by the way, says that the vast majority of humanity will be damned. Like Pope Benedict said, a malformed clergy starting decades ago have abandoned any true sense of Catholic thought, tradition and so forth. For many of them, the Church is just a human institution that has a certain philosophy that it would be nice if the world followed — and if it doesn't follow it, then it's little else than just a shame.
Oh, well — can't win 'em all. Thanks for playing. Try again later. That's the spirit behind those announcements and a number of others — not an inch of spinal column to any of them because they do not believe.
This is why Catholics have to educate themselves in the Faith. Catholics must realize that men who do not believe the Faith, who have lost the Faith, have been the ones supposedly transmitting it to them. What has been transmitted is a false religion with only the barest of elements of the actual Faith sprinkled in for appearances.
Catholics must learn the Faith for themselves. That's why Church Militant is asking you to become a Premium member today, to sign up and gain access to hundreds and hundreds of hours of faithful Catholic teaching — faithful to the Magisterium.
The time has come to accept the sad historical reality of what has happened to the Church and commit our wills and our intellects to being correctly formed — in spirituality, devotion, history, apologetics, Scripture, liturgy and everything else we have been deprived of by the malformed bishops Pope Benedict spoke of.
Will this be slightly uncomfortable, in that we will have to sit down and come up with a life plan that re-organizes and reprioritizes our lives so that we can reclaim what should have been given to us already? Sure it will. But like Pope Benedict said, we were not made for comfort; we were made for greatness — and the greatness that can be achieved through us is to become heralds of the authentic gospel by loving the Church.
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Until this storm passes — with an exception here and there — Catholics are going to have to do what Catholics in other tumultuous times and centuries did: Step up and become giants in the Faith — and that's not a bad destiny.
Thank you. And God love you.