Catholic Church

The haters in the Catholic Church

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There are lots of them; lots. Especially in the United States; in particular, the South. And they all seek one thing: to stop the direction in which Pope Francis is taking the Catholic Church. A spiritual delusion born of unacknowledged pride and, yes, hatred.

Attempting to regain the 'glory' days of old both in the Church and in the public square (not going to happen in the expected way/s as we are moving toward increased brotherhood as the Church was in the beginning, not greater hierarchy), they mix politics with religion under the pretense of knowing more than others the will of God for both His Church and for humanity. They experience neither guilt nor shame in recruiting and attempting to impose their 'cause' by force on everyone else. By their own deeds, they fail to understand the very meaning of the word Catholic at its most basic.

Described as "American fundamentalists," "Catholic integralists/militants/Bible-thumpers," and so on, these individuals and cliques of individuals have been baptized into the Catholic Church, but they manifest to others neither its goodness nor its motherhood. They only show what exists deep down in their own heart – a "cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol," that is neither Christian nor Catholic. Roundly condemned for their proselytizations on multiple occasions by the Pope himself (and not just by this Pope), these armchair theologians - evangelizers of "this rotten world," or "the [purported] remnant; foot soldiers for Christ," as they call themselves – operate on the premise that the more you 'thump,' the more people will listen to you and come around to your way of thinking. A fallacious, boastful premise if one ever existed.

Promoting schism instead of unity in the Church, they consider themselves the only ones who are going to save the Catholic Church from utter ruin and destruction; this even from her own clergymen, according to them. A proven delusion on both counts, given what Christ said about His Church. Moreover, woe betide anyone who either dares to disagree with them or points out the cognitive dissonance in their thinking, in particular within the contexts of the universal versus the tribal (skewedness evident to even a five-year-old), for they will revenge themselves by engaging in libel, slander, and then some; making a public mockery of the very God they profess to defend, turning both the internet and social media into "a graveyard of corpses strewn all around."

As one senior clergyman said, these

obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering, virtual guardians of the faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life, and so resort to the internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners.

They conveniently forget that speaking in the manner in which they speak and acting in the way/s they act, they are scourging anew Christ Himself in His own Body. But who cares about that? For the record, never has Pope Francis said anything against the deposit of faith. Never. Not once. If they truly knew Scripture and the teachings of the Church, they would know that. But blinded by pride and ideology, these individuals 'know better.'

One thing seems to repeatedly elude these Catholics in their unbridled fanaticism. It is this: God is God and He will not be mocked. Not even by you; no matter what you may try. He will not be mocked, in particular by those who claim to speak in His Name.

The poison and cultism of fundamentalist Catholics

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“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Mt 7:5).

They seek to rebuild the Catholic Church into their own image – a cult – far, very far, from the Spirit of God. They claim, both in public and in private, to be the sole ones to possess and preach the ‘untainted’ Word of God in this time of worldly confusion, but in reality have neither one nor the other in their minds and mouths as their hearts are very far from God out of pride. Despite the shiny allure of initial appearances to the contrary, fundamentalist Catholics are never able to genuinely nourish other Catholics, other Christians, and seekers at the spiritual level with the Truth, apart from more of those of their own ilk, because they only have poison to give. One can tell by the constant negativity that comes out from them in particular toward those who refuse to agree with them.

God is not like that.

They claim to be humble, but in everyday life and in their public behaviors, they are anything but. They lie – yes, they are liars; children of none other than the father of lies who was a murderer from the beginning, as Christ said, and this despite having been baptized into the Catholic Church, which they so profess with their lips to love and ‘protect.’

Pharisees, therefore.

They lie without shame or compunction, and attempt to get away with as many lies as possible, to satiate their rage for having been exposed by the truth. In addition, they lie to continue denying, to their own selves, their multiplicity of sinful behaviors toward others; a multiplicity that is as endless as the rage lying impotent and unresolved in their own hearts. Fundamentalist Catholics thus manifest no problem fabricating stories in endless ways about the members comprising the People of God from both the top down and the bottom up, even while knowing these stories to be false and a grievous sin in their own right, since their underlying intent is no more and no less than virtual murder. The desire for revenge of these Catholics knows no limits in this regard, blinded as they are with the lust in their own hearts to be the sole ones in the whole world to ever possess the Truth. And, more close to home, to satisfy that insatiable lust for the ‘power’ to decide who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ of the Church, hence Heaven through the power of binding and loosing – a power they decidedly do not have.

Above all, fundamentalist Catholics speak without cease about carrying out all of the above in the Name of the Lord and in the name of ‘righteousness’ – to all intents and purposes, perversion. Blasphemy and sacrilege, therefore, if ever these were known to exist.

Only eight words of wisdom suffice for such Catholics: Go to confession and repent of your ways.

The abandonment of God by His people

Christianity 101 – The ‘elder brother’ syndrome

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It seems to have become the fashion these days, particularly in the US, to tell other Catholics who might disagree with one’s particular take on Catholicism that, “You are not Catholic.” The phrase, “You are not Christian,” tends to be hurled in a parallel manner by those of Protestant bent, in particular the evangelicals. Both phrases, however, are theologically incorrect, not to mention that such phrases are often used as weapons toward the ‘undesirable’ other Catholic/Christian by the ever-so-correct under the rationalization of evangelization. An analogous weapon seems to be the phrase, “You are not part of the Body of Christ.”

Leaving aside, for the moment, that the word Catholic means universal, not parochial, thus any parochialism or tribalism under the name of the Faith is to be eschewed, one becomes a Catholic Christian by being baptized with the Trinitarian formula in the Catholic Church. In a similar manner, one becomes a Christian, as the term has been appropriated and is understood by several evangelicals, by being baptized by another Christian using the Trinitarian formula. And let us not even consider here the baptism of desire and the baptism of blood.

So who is a ‘real’ Catholic? Who is a ‘real’ Christian?

Both of the above persons given as example are real Christians and the first is a Catholic Christian. This ontological change occurs no matter whether one of them professes what is either to the liking or the disliking of the other. Both of them form part of the Body of Christ, since both have been validly baptized with the Trinitarian formula – irrespective of whether the self-righteous like it or not, or if they can or cannot prop up their own egos. Whether one is a practicing Christian or a practicing Catholic, or a good/bad Christian or a good/bad Catholic, does not enter into the equation.

For Catholics, therefore, to tell other similarly baptized Catholics, “You are not Catholic,” because the former disagree with the latter, is an oxymoronic, but highly misleading, statement that is unreflective of the truth. The widespread use of these phrases also reveals what seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of the ‘phrase-throwers’ (who would ‘evangelize’ others), in relation to what and who constitutes the Church and the Body of Christ. This leaves one wondering if the situation is not one of the proverbial case of the blind leading the equally blind. The same holds true for those who consider themselves just Christians.

The spiritual pride of American Catholics of fundamentalist bent

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The self-righteousness and spiritual pride – there is no other word for it – of fundamentalist-leaning Catholics in the United States has to be witnessed to be believed. It is a phenomenon in itself. Such Catholics seem to believe that it is they and, presumably, they alone who are ‘going to save’ the Catholic Church from ruin by going to Hell in the proverbial hand basket. They consider themselves part of ‘the remnant’ that is supposedly protecting the One True Faith from error, including ‘error’ coming from the Vatican.

As you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye – Jesus Christ.

Some of these Catholics refuse, even in public, even when asked directly, to accept the leadership of Pope Francis – the Vicar of Christ who holds in his hands the power to bind and loose in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 16:18-19). They do this despite knowing full well that such a refusal to assent, let alone consent, to the Magisterium of the Pope automatically places them, at the spiritual level, outside the very Faith and the very Church they profess to so love and ‘protect.’ Both assent and consent to the said magisterium are requirements of the Catholic Faith. Further, these individuals – self-appointed mini-demagogues who have far more in common with Sola Scriptura folks or the tight cult of Scientology, than true Catholicism – manifest no hesitation in engaging in widespread slander and libel, products of hatred, not just against the Pope himself, but also against priests who themselves follow the magisterium and who have done nothing to them.

Who am I to judge? – Pope Francis

A case in point is the recent release of the book Building a bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT community can enter into a relationship of respect, compassion and sensitivity, written by a well-known priest. Apart from the fact that it does have an eye-grabbing title, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – in the book that goes against faith and morals. The book itself has been granted the imprimi potest by the Superior of the Society of Jesus.

It should be noted that this site has no skin in the game, so to speak, in relation to this book. But justice demands that we do not stand idly by while something that is good becomes the recipient of the above kind of hatred, by Catholics no less. Silence would, otherwise, be tacit consent.

What does all of the above thus tell you about the real agenda of said American Catholics? Who, in reality, is trying to construct a ‘parallel’ Catholic Church – a Church built into his or her own image – despite claiming to love Her and all protestations to the contrary? Rather than manifest docility to the Spirit and to the Church given to humankind by Jesus Christ?

None of such fundamentalism is from God or of God.

None of it.

On unity and diversity in the Church

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Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia, Ibi Deus

Pope Francis on unity and diversity in the Church (Homily for Pentecost, 2017):

“By His presence and activity, the Spirit draws into unity spirits that are distinct and separate among themselves (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of John, XI, 11). He does so in a way that affects true union, according to God’s will, a union that is not uniformity, but unity in difference.

“For this to happen, we need to avoid two recurrent temptations. The first temptation seeks diversity without unity. This happens when we want to separate, when we take sides and form parties, when we adopt rigid and airtight positions, when we become locked into our own ideas and ways of doing things, perhaps even thinking that we are better than others, or always in the right, when we become so-called “guardians of the truth.” When this happens, we choose the part over the whole, belonging to this or that group before belonging to the Church. We become avid supporters for one side, rather than brothers and sisters in the one Spirit. We become Christians of the “right” or the “left,” before being on the side of Jesus, unbending guardians of the past or the avant-garde of the future before being humble and grateful children of the Church. The result is diversity without unity. The opposite temptation is that of seeking unity without diversity. Here, unity becomes uniformity, where everyone has to do everything together and in the same way, always thinking alike. Unity ends up being homogeneity and no longer freedom. But, as Saint Paul says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).

“So the prayer we make to the Holy Spirit is for the grace to receive his unity, a glance that, leaving personal preferences aside, embraces and loves his Church, our Church. It is to accept responsibility for unity among all, to wipe out the gossip that sows the darnel of discord and the poison of envy, since to be men and women of the Church means being men and women of communion. It is also to ask for a heart that feels that the Church is our Mother and our home, an open and welcoming home where the manifold joy of the Holy Spirit is shared.”