Friday, March 1, 2013

What is Wrong with Catholicism Today

This is everything that's wrong with Catholicism today. People who so fundamentally do not understand the nature of the Church. People who so fundamentally lack faith. People who are so utterly enamored of this world and the opinions of men.

Anyone who judges the state of the Church, or the effectiveness of a papacy, by "the news" reported about it is completely lost.
"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind." - St. Paul, Letter to the Romans
The problems in the Church are not caused by the people who actually understand, believe, and follow the doctrine of the faith. The problems come from those who don't understand, who don't believe, and who fail to practice it. That is true whether they are clergy or laity.

What laity who put on holier than thou airs towards the clergy seem to fail to realize is that the clergy who fail come from their ranks. None of us is born a priest. We are all born lay. Bad priests were bad laymen first. Those who are the most judgmental, anticlerical laity are themselves faithless laypersons. They don't realize that they are two peas in a pod with faithless priests they so excoriate.

Being a priest doesn't make a faithless person faithful, nor does it make a good person bad. By the same token, being lay doesn't make you inherently more holy or wise or trustworthy than clergy. The popular notion that having more lay government of the Church is the solution to corruption in the Church is demonstrably flawed, even ludicrous. Look around you. Do you see any corruption in civil governments around the world? I thought so.

Priest and lay, what we need in the Church are more people who are more faithful, people who do as St. Paul instructed as quoted above. Here is more of that passage:
I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. 
I suggest you read more. It's very pertinent. Faithful priests and faithful laypeople--we are all part of the same body of Christ but with different callings and gifts.

I'll further say, along with St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians, "I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you." You can't just quit the faith. That's not the way it works. If you think you can just take it off for a while and put it back on when you feel the Church better suits you, I have some news for you: you don't have faith. You faithless people--you who wear Catholicism like it's a robe to be taken off and put on again when its convenient, when it appeals to you, when the Church is respected and admired by the world and in the news--you are the problem with the Church.

The good news is that you can help fix it. No, not by railing against the Church and the clergy. Nope. You just need to get to confession. Get on your knees. Humbly repent and ask God to restore your faith. He will, and then you'll be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Update 6 Mar 2013: Piers Morgan--another example of what's wrong with the Catholic Church today.