What was attempted here in Rome these past few weeks was nothing less than historic — an attempted overthrow of Church teaching by a handful of powerful Churchmen and their allies using faulty exegesis and catechesis mixed in with a liberal dose of errant sociology. They were largely blunted in their attempt — at least on the surface, and at least for now — as they were to a degree at last year's Extraordinary Synod.
But these same Churchmen (and their number is not insignificant) will now go back to their respective dioceses and continue to dismantle the faith on a local level, not having been able to achieve it on a universal level. Many bishops in their own diocese simply look the other way when these thorny issues come up — or any thorny issues, for that fact.
And as has been evidenced in spades at this Synod, many of them don't understand the Faith; they are poorly formed in it. Their seminary training and/or formation were sorely lacking owing to the turbulent theological revolution in the Church which came to the surface in the 1960s and moving forward even to our present day. So no one can be surprised that various bishops here do not accept simple Catholic doctrine. Some reject it for its own sake. Others reject it unintentionally because they were never really exposed to it.
This is one of the good things -—if you can call it that — emerging from the Synod: that it is now laid bare for the whole Catholic world to see that even some of the successors of the Apostles have fallen prey to what Pope St. Pius X correctly labeled the Modernist heresy — and not because they accept it and embrace it. Some do — but others simply do not realize it. This is why it is good to have this discussion — lay it all out there, every controversial issue that can be discussed.
Our Blessed Lord has promised to protect the Church, that He would be with us at all times until there is no more time. So what are we afraid of? Why are so many so touchy that some very difficult issues need to be looked at square in the face? Are we not a "listening Church"? Do we need our own "language event" to examine these issues that so many need accompanying with?
The truth is that all of us have failed — through sin mostly, but also through lack of knowledge. We have all failed our Holy Mother. Some have failed spectacularly, others in more mundane ways. For example, how many of us laity have adopted the attitude that it is the priests' or bishops' job to teach the Faith and thereby rationalized keeping our mouths shut when loved ones have adopted a sinful lifestyle? How many of us have witnessed not for Our Blessed Lord, as He commanded us, and simply gone along with evil and found a thousand rationalizations to do so?
True, many bishops and clergy seem to make this a modus operandi, but does that mean that we laity cannot become more educated in the Faith on our own? How many of us, for example, simply accept the opinions of "celebrity" clergy and leave unchallenged their spiritually unfounded propositions that most, if not all, people go to Heaven. Do we not challenge such things so omnipresent in the Church these days because we are afraid of the scorn we will receive from others?
The point is this: These discussions need to happen — and you need to start them. Leaving difficult things left unsaid does no one any good. We are all rightfully concerned with a family member who starts to come apart because of drugs or pornography or alcohol or sudden tragedy, and we rush to them to both comfort and help them to get back on track. But when it comes to that same person's soul in spiritual matters, we pause, are much more reticent to take action, much more fearful that we might offend them.
Why is that? Why do we care more for our loved ones' earthly lives than their eternal lives? And to hammer home the point: Merely caring about someone internally is insufficient. It's certainly nice, but left inside, it's just an emotion. If that "feeling-fueled" knowledge isn't acted on when we can do something about it, then part of the guilt falls to us.
We've just sat here for three weeks and heard hundreds of bishops, archbishops, cardinals and even the Pope, not to mention scores of lay people and religious of every stripe, talk about how the family needs to be a place of safety and aid and comfort and compassion and mercy for wounded family members. And that is all very true. But — and this has been the vexing question here — how do you go about it?
No matter what you do, there is one thing you may never do, and that is withold the truth. The primary concern must be their eternal lives. Of course eternal life is achieved through choices in this life, so of course what happens here is the path to that reality. But there seems to be in the air here a great vacuum of understanding that what we are on a path to is either Heaven or Hell. And this reality must be comprehended — completely.
All of this is totally meaningless if it's understood as just a way to make people feel important and supported and cared for on earth. Many Catholics today are dubious about approaching loved ones because they either don't, or think they don't, know enough about the Faith to talk to them; so they sit by kind of quietly, knowing with their Catholic instincts that a given situation is bad, but feeling not knowledgeable enough to get into it. So nothing gets said.
This lack of knowledge and understanding of these eternal issues has got to be overcome — and overcome immediately. It's the main reason we are always inviting people to sign up for a Premium account with us. You can do it by clicking the blue "Go Premium" button on the page here. Please join us by becoming a Premium member and gain access to hundreds of hours of authentic Catholic programming.
Most Catholics who go to Mass today don't really know the Faith. Anyone under 55 remembers sitting in religion class (for those of us in religion classes) and getting taught next to nothing, which would have been preferable compared to the bad catechesis many were taught. Why do we need to know the Faith? Because without it, it's nearly impossible to achieve sanctity in this life, and even harder to advance in it .
And the bottom-line solution for this entire mess is, as simply stated as possible, to be a living saint — not him, not her, but you — and me. Being a saint is the only purpose or meaning to life. Saints want to get people to Heaven. To do that, they help teach them the Faith. In order to teach them the Faith, they invest the time and energy to actually learn the Faith, to know the Faith.
You cannot love, I cannot love, what I do not know. And if someone dies not loving the Faith, the truth, the Church, then that life will have been a failure, regardless of what it looked like through human eyes. As the Spaniard Juan Donosco Cortes said, "Catholicism is the law of life, the life of the intelligence, the solution of all problems. Catholicism is the truth, and everything that departs from it one iota is disorder, deception, and error."
Please join in our work here, the work of helping people to come to the knowledge of the truth, glories of the Faith, the majesty of the Church, so we can all be more effective and courageous evangelizers in our own families and states of life. Again, please become a Premium member today by clicking on the blue "Go Premium" button so you can more enthusiastically embrace the Faith. The way out of this crisis is only one: becoming a saint, with all that entails.