Protestants Acting Catholic

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  June 26, 2018   

Why can't bishops and priests do it?

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Why is it that guys like Chris Pratt can stand before a tough audience in Hollywood and speak on supernatural truths when our own bishops and priests can't do it in front of their own fellow Catholics?

Catholic leaders like Abp. Charles Chaput of Philadelphia are lions on social justice issues like immigration and will publicly criticize President Donald Trump for his prudential judgments on enforcing existing immigration laws. The same bishops, however, are lambs on moral issues like sodomy and will even welcome homosexualist priests to speak, like Fr. James Martin, who attempts to normalize the gay lifestyle. These bishops will threaten canonical sanctions for social justice issues but refuse to do so when canon law demands them to act.

When Our Lord was giving His last instructions to His first bishops before ascending into Heaven, He told them in Matthew 28:19–20, "Teach all nations ... to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." He didn't say anything about not giving offense. This is the same Christ who, in Matthew 12:34, called the Pharisees a "generation of vipers" and, in the fourth chapter of John, told the woman at the well exactly how many illicit relationships she'd been involved in.

So why is it that other Christians find the courage and zeal to address real life-changing issues on faith and morals, like the existence of Hell and the consequences of sin, when our own Catholics leaders can merely direct people to be polite and urge them to believe in climate change?

There are many reasons why bishops and priests keep silent today. Some were wrongly formed by gay-friendly clergy in the seminary. Some want to keep government funds coming in for their pet social justice issues. Others wish to avoid the blowback that comes with preaching on hard moral issues like abortion, contraception or homosexuality.

But St. Paul, in 2 Timothy 4:2–3, tells clerics, "Preach the word: be instant in season and out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine." By all accounts, that time has come.

Watch the panel discuss the difference between zealous Protestants and lukewarm Catholics in The Download—Protestants Acting Catholic.


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