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While the Church of Nice is busy celebrating its leadership party in Orlando over the Fourth of July weekend, the average Catholic needs to understand that the death warrant for the Church in America has now been signed and sealed. Why? Because the Church of Nice does not deal in reality; they live in a phantasm, an illusory world, where nothing resembles the way it actually is. For example, with all the emoting that took place at the Orlando gathering, few if any of the delegates recognized that nothing of substance was spoken of.
One of the leading online publications for the Church of Nice, Crux, and its boss, John Allen, summed things up pretty well, albeit unintentionally. Here's the telling paragraph: "For sure, topics with clear political relevance surfaced along the way, from immigration and the LGBTQ community to abortion and euthanasia. However, those were not the dominant notes, which were instead evangelization, mercy, formation in the Faith, prayer and the sacraments and the spiritual life." See? Fantasyland.
Since when are issues like murdering preborn children and sodomy political issues? They are moral issues. The fact that they have become political just proves what a horrible, rotten job the Church has done in the past 50 years evangelizing! And now, the answer from the same cast of characters is to label moral issues, which damn people to Hell, as "political." Nope, let's not talk about Hell and salvation and the need for living a virtuous life; let's talk about just being emotional and excited.
Another telling line from Allen's screed is this: "Participants from dioceses around the country [said] the thing that most excited them was the experience of being with each other, sharing stories, swapping experiences and ideas." Yes, this pretty much nails it — living in the land of emotion.
Anywhere you pack in a few thousand people with at least some things in common, you're going to get an emotional response. Think of a rock concert or a home field crowd at a football game. Emotion means very little after it's all over. It's the same here. That the delegates were all excited means nothing. It would be surreal if they weren't excited. But while all the deflection was going on, and no one was ready to talk substantively about moral issues, which damn souls, there was another issue that was never, is never, talked about. And it is perhaps the most serious of all, and this conference would have been the perfect setting to bring it up because it fits perfectly into the agenda of going to the peripheries and encountering people and meeting them where they are. We're talking about sacrilegious Holy Communions, which happen by the millions every Sunday in the nation's parishes.
Now, let's talk about going to the margins. Every Sunday, tens of thousands of priests in America say not one single word about Catholics approaching Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin. Those who contracept, the divorced and civilly remarried, the hook-up culture crowd, even the more tame stuff like the young men with porn addictions or who masturbate or lust after young women, committing adultery with them in their hearts. Nary a word, no warning rooted in love for the care of their souls. Saint Paul warns rather clearly that to receive unworthily is to eat and drink your own damnation.
So think about all those souls, sitting right in front of all these priests, in need of being taught the truth and evangelized. The lapsed Catholic, who still happens to be sitting in the pew for a short while longer for a host of reasons other than seeking after holiness — is that soul not worth evangelizing? Or do we have to imagine the "periphery" as some exotic location somewhere else in the world, where we can stammer on as a cause for immigration and so forth?
The point of evangelizing is to bring a soul into the Catholic Church, or if he is already physically present, at least to lift him up in holiness, to encourage sanctity in him for his own salvation. But too few priests and bishops think like this, much less preach like this. It will be to their everlasting torment. The purpose of the Church is to create saints, not political reformers, yet that is what the Church of Nice leadership is all about: climate change, immigration and so forth. And while the moral issues were not on the agenda, the political ones were. And this is why the Church in America will be dying at an even increasing rate for the next few years before it breathes its last.
It is committing suicide, and this was just one big suicide party because it will not deal with the reality of the cause of its own demise, which is a turning away from holiness — actually not even recognizing the need for it. It will not confront the evil within the Church in the persons of those leaders who seek to pervert the Faith for their own psychological traumas.
How very telling that one of the cheerleaders for the Church of Nice Establishment, Crux magazine, which is largely funded by the Establishment, dismissed modern-day evils as "political." Let's hope they're just as insightful in penning the coming obituary. The Church exists to save souls, and it says everything you need to know that nowhere was that discussion item on the agenda. But everybody had a good time at least, sharing and emoting.