I recently read an article by Damon Linker in The Week entitled Why Churches Should Brace for a Mass Exodus of the Faithful. And while the article presents a kind of doomsday scenario, the actual experience of the Catholic Church would be better described as a steady erosion in terms of weekly attendance. The prospect, in the light of this experience suggests more of the same, rather than a “bottom dropping out” scenario.
Nevertheless, the concerns are real, and we have not failed to discuss them on this blog. The reasons for the declining practice of the faith are complex but most fully rooted in a growing secularism that the Church struggles to address effectively.
Damon Linker has ideas of his own that, to my mind, oversimplify what is a sociologically complex matter. Frankly, most people don’t walk away in the angry dismay he describes. Rather, most just drift away in the tide of secularism that inculcates a kind of boredom and indifference to spiritual things.
But Mr. Linker also manifests a fundamentally flawed notion of what the Church is and what her main goal and mission are. And prior to looking at some of his views, we do well to review his flawed ecclesiology which is also the flawed premise of many modern critiques of the Church.
We have frequently discussed on this blog many fundamental misunderstandings about the nature and purpose of the Church. The most common problems currently center on a rather populist notion of the Church. For those who entertain this error, the mission and role of the Church is to reflect the views that are popular and common today among the people. Thus, the Church should read the signs of the times, perhaps take a few polls, and do a form of marketing wherein she seeks to appeal to the largest number by adapting her teachings.
A mitigated form of this populism is to insist that at the very least the Church should reflect the views of her own members. And thus the idea that the Church should go on proclaiming teachings that the majority of her members neither follow nor agree with, seems strange, even sinful and unjust to these populists.
Somehow, according to this populist view, the Church needs to accept the political saying Vox Populi, Vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God). From the populist ecclesiology, there comes a kind of moral imperative for the Church to change her teachings on things such as the male-only priesthood, contraception, fornication, cohabitation, abortion, homosexual acts, and euthanasia. To this mindset, the Church is not simply out of touch, we are somehow sinfully wrong and unjust in refusing to conform ourselves to reflect the views of the world, or at least those of our members.
But of course, all of this is based on the false premise that the mission of the Church is to reflect the views of her members; it is not. Rather, it is the mission of the Church to reflect the views of her Head and Founder, Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Sacred Writings and in Sacred Tradition.
A second and related error is the notion that the Church should have, as a main goal, large numbers in the pews. And while it is true that the Lord Jesus did tell us to go unto all the nations and to seek to make disciples of them, he also insisted that making disciples meant teaching whatsoever he commanded (cf Mat 28:20).
Further, according to the words of Jesus himself, (and in many other places in Scripture) it is clearly stated that:
- Many would reject him (e.g. Luke 17:25)
- And that while many were called, only a few were chosen (Matt 22:14).
- Jesus sadly stated that many prefer the wide road that leads to destruction, rather than the narrow road (of the cross) the leads to salvation. Jesus remarks sadly how few there are who would find salvation (Matt 7:13)
- St. Paul tells Timothy to preach the Gospel whether in season or out of season, that is, whether popular or unpopular. He went on to warn of the days when people would not tolerate sound doctrine, but would surround themselves with teachers who would tickle their ears. (2 Tim 4:1-3)
So looking for majorities and large numbers of adherents as a measure of success seems more appropriate for a politician than for a disciple of the crucified Lord Jesus.
Thus, many modern critics of the Church fall prey to fundamental errors about her nature and purpose as described above.
I’d like now to review excerpts of the article mentioned above by Damon Linker. For throughout the article, he manifests both of these errors. And while I do not reject all of his conclusions, nor all the warnings he issues, I nevertheless have a little prediction to make: the Church will be here long after this current age and its views have come and gone (cf Matt 16:18).
So let’s look at some excerpts. Damon Linker writes (and my comments are in red),
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the sweeping acceptance of gay marriage in recent years is owed in large part to Christianity. Rejecting the rigidly hierarchical and stratified societies of the ancient world, Jesus Christ taught the equal dignity of all persons, proclaimed that the meek shall inherit the earth, and declared that the last shall be first and the first shall be last.
It is nice to receive a little acknowledgment, namely that Christianity has had a salutary effect on the world by proclaiming the dignity of the human person. For some claim that the Christian faith has had either no effect, or even a negative effect on the world. At least Mr. Linker does acknowledge this essential and unique contribution of Christianity.
But of course asserting the dignity of the individual is not to be equated with approving whatever the individual chooses to do. Our essential dignity as human beings is that we were made by God to know the truth, the truth which he proclaims in his Word, in Sacred Tradition, and the in book of creation through Natural Law.
It is odd to me that Mr. Linker should so easily attribute meekness to many proponents of the modern liberal social revolution, or to the views they espouse. To this reader, and from my vantage point, most of the social liberals are more like iconoclasts who delight in smashing and ridiculing traditional norms, and who do not hesitate for a moment to assign some of the most loathsome labels to their opponents (such as me): intolerant, bigoted, homophobic, sexist, misogynistic, unjust, etc. And they have little hesitancy in seeking to impose through the legal system any number of odious penalties upon the likes of me and others who will not comply with their new vision. Crosses, crèches, and all manner and form of religious symbolism must be immediately removed. Legal penalties must accrue to those who do not wish to engage in business transactions contradictory to their moral beliefs, and to those who refuse to be involved in the purchasing of the “healthcare” that is part of the modern liberal social agenda. Yes, according to them we must be heavily penalized, marginalized, and even criminalized. None of this bespeaks of “meekness” to me if I do say so myself.
And far from being “last,” most proponents of the progressive social agenda, and subgroups like the homosexual lobby, are actually among the “first” in modern culture. They are well funded, often personally wealthy, and very politically powerful.
Such as these are neither meek nor last in any sense.
Mr. Linker adds,
But what (of churches)…that resist this reform…with ecclesiastical authorities enforcing male-centered dogma and doctrine. That’s mainly the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons)….I think it’s likely that over the coming years these churches are going to confront a stark choice: Reform themselves in light of equality or watch their parishioners opt for the exits. In droves.
Linker qualifies himself saying, I’m not talking about all of the churches. I mean those that have resisted reforming themselves in light of women’s equality….
Actually, the current answer to Mr. Linker’s question is that churches that hold to traditional doctrine (what he terms “male-centered dogma”) are actually doing better in terms of the number of adherents than those denominations that have adopted his stated “reform” agenda. Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians (PCUSA), and Unitarians are all in steep and serious decline. However, Catholics, Mormons, conservative Pentecostal denominations, and many of the more traditional branches of the Lutherans (Missouri Synod) and the Presbyterians (non-PCUSA) are holding their own, and even growing.
So, to use his logic, the LAST thing the Church should do is embrace his “reform” agenda since people are heading for the exits even faster.
It is also interesting that Mr. Linker should seek to focus especially on the issue of women’s ordination. Really, this is rather an old issue in the Church. It is been debated for many decades. When this major exodus will suddenly start to happen seems unclear. If anything, radical feminism is on the decline as a popular movement, and most Catholic women do not seem particularly adamant about the issue.
But even if it were the case that many members were getting ready to leave or were already being lost, as has already been stated above this could not of itself cause the Church to change a practice we received from Christ himself.
To his credit, Mr. Linker acknowledges that the Church is unlikely, even unable, to change many of her teachings, and he even does a pretty good job of summarizing why the Church, in her own estimation, has no power to ordain women.
But the bottom line is that Linker does not really advert to the actual data, which show that in fact traditional Churches retain a higher number of adherents. Instead, he makes dire, a priori predictions that the bottom is about to fall out of churches that don’t hew closely to his “reform” agenda. The data say otherwise.
Mr. Linker goes on to make to other prognostications. One is that though Pope Francis enjoys wide popularity now, he predicts,
It isn’t going to last. As I’ve argued at length, there is no indication that anything of doctrinal substance is going to change under the new pope.
To this, I would agree. One day the world is going to have to wake up from its dreamy version of Pope Francis and discover that he is a Roman Catholic Bishop, a successor to the Apostles, and the successor to Peter. He will not and cannot set aside either defined moral or doctrinal teaching. In fact, as a believing Catholic, I will go further and say that he’s prevented from doing so by the Holy Spirit.
Mr. Linker opines,
I think it likely that over the coming years these churches [the traditional ones] are going to confront a stark choice: reform themselves in the light of equality or watch their parishioners opt for the exits in droves.
To some degree, this has already been happening for decades in all Churches, even more so in the “equality-based” churches he salutes. In the Catholic Church, though our number of claimed adherents has been rising, the percentage of those who actually attend Mass or believe in any substantial way has been steadily eroding. I have little doubt that this number will continue to drop, at least as a percentage, in the years ahead.
The world is becoming more secular and that trend does not seem to be changing anytime soon. But here too, we must insist on what was said above: that simply looking for large numbers is not the mission of the Church. The mission of the Church is to hand on the sacred teachings that the Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted to us, and to hand them on intact.
It’s nice to be wildly popular, but as the life of Jesus shows, the crowds are fickle. On a certain Sunday in Jerusalem, they shouted Hosanna to the Son of David! By Friday, they were shouting Crucify him! We have no king but Caesar.
Indeed, on Good Friday the Church got very small for a moment. All the Apostles, the early bishops, except John had fled. Only John was there at the Cross with Jesus, along with Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and several other women. Yes, the Church got very small on that day.
But Jesus didn’t look down and say, “Oh this isn’t working. Let’s call the whole thing off and develop a different approach apart from the Cross.” Interestingly, the Church got two converts that day: the good thief, and the centurion; not too bad, when you’re down to only five or six members. And of course, the Church since then has grown quite dramatically. But there have been many ups and downs too numerous to detail here.
At the end of the day, Mr. Linker’s concerns rest on two flawed assumptions. First, that the Church is wrong to resist the testimony of the majority, of the populace. Second, that our goal should be large numbers, and that we should fret because our numbers are somehow declining.
Even if they are, and that point is debatable, numbers cannot be a preoccupation, nor can popularity. We serve the Lord, who was crucified outside the city gate. As the Book of Hebrews says Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore (Heb 13:13).
It is not that our goal is to be contrarian. Our goal is to remain faithful, whether popular or unpopular. Jesus rather sadly wondered: When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8). Scripture also says of him: He is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against (Lk 2:34).
This the lot of the Church, the Body of Christ: to be often vilified, hated, and persecuted, to fulfill the difficult mission of being the voice of Jesus Christ in the world today. The voice of the real Jesus, not some fake, abridged or amended Jesus, but the real Jesus who spoke quite unambiguously about most of the moral issues confronting the world today, whether in his own words or through the apostles he commissioned to speak in his name.
All this leads to the conclusion that Mr. Linker’s article is fundamentally beside the point for the Church, who serves a crucified yet risen Lord and who told us If you were of the world the world would love you as its own, but because you are not of the world, because I have called you out of the world, therefore the world will hate you (Jn 15:19).
Yes, such is our lot. We can do no other; we can be no other. St. Paul said,
We do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Cor 4:2)
This Colbert skit demonstrates the absurdity of merely fashioning the Church to suit whims.
31 Replies to “Many Who Seek to “Reform”the Church fundamentally misunderstand her Mission and Purpose. A Response to a Recent Church Critic”
People who leave faith to suit a whim have a problem. When people leave the church due to the errors of the clergy, then the church has a problem. It seems we are dealing with both.
Thank you, Father,
Few explain so well who are the chosen.
His name is above all names.
In Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Thank you Msgr. Pope. My Heart yearns for stability, Holiness, and love of the mysteries of God. You are so right in calling them the new iconoclast. What I also find interesting is their demand for women to be included, as if they are ignored but, they have no problem dissing Mary and treat the women Saints works as uninformative. The lack of respect is getting predictable and dull.
“What I also find interesting is their demand for women to be included, as if they are ignored but, they have no problem dissing Mary and treat the women Saints works as uninformative.”
Excellent point, Sally. The unvarnished hatred that many of the Church’s enemies have long heaped onto Catholic reverence for Our Lady is obscene.
The idea that Jesus eliminated hierarchy by teaching about the dignity of all men is absurd.
I came across an interesting article on JPII defining the priesthood. Zippycatholic.wordpress.com, a good blog, linked to it:
The best line is the “correct” response when someone accuses us of sexism or misogyny: “These expressions are meaningless to everyone except those who accept your theories, and they contain no valid criticism.”
Actually I just reread that link and its more about feminist philosophy than Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, but I do think the last paragraph kind of reframes the whole article–that’s why I remembered it being about the priesthood.
Also remember that surveys have been done about why people are leaving the church. There is a very good article available online by Thomas Reese who points out that almost no one is leaving the church over women priests, abortion etc (the standard liberal complaints). No, in fact most are leaving because they “do not get their spiritual needs met.” So, in fact, the liberalizing that took place during the 70’s, 80’s etc was a large cause of the decline. The priests then seemed to lack a certain something – call it the “fire for the gospel” that Francis talks about. Instead, week after week, we got the bland, banal, “love sermon” that was so generic as to be worthless. Many left to go to more rigorous, more Jesus-based Evangelical churches.
Search google for “Why catholics leave the church” and you will find the article.
So Damon Linker is just wrong in so many ways.
And as you point out, the fact that he misses the loss in membership of those churches ordaining women etc is another major failing of his pieice.
The faithful are not getting their needs met? Our Divine Lord’s answer is what more can I do for you? He gives us his Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist in addition to the other Sacraments. Perhaps, just maybe it’s us? Maybe it’s our disposition and what we do or don’t do when we come to Mass? The faithful are clamoring for holiness, in it’s clergy, religious and laity and instead are bombarded with silly gestures of unity, i.e., handholding, back rubbing. stand up jokes and meet and greet Liturgies. Does anyone beat his chest at the Confiteor (when it is said, which is rare). The fault lies in our improper understanding of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and not in our needs being met. If possible, go to a Latin Mass and then say that your needs aren’t being met. As we pray so we believe.
Also, I thought it kind of funny that the picture that accompanies your article appears to be the building of a warehouse.
Or…is that a church?
It fascinates me that Mr. Linker links Catholics and Latter Day Saints. The mainstream Mormons who are affiliated with the Temple in Salt Lake City have a wonderful tradition of fidelity to Biblical morality, and their young people show their joy in chastity, which is so important as a preparation for a life of marital fidelity, and they show it ever so much more powerfully than our own Catholic young people do.
But it does no good to dwell on the remnant, and imagine a future in which the Church will be a tiny and tattered remnant of a once-popular Christian culture. The remnant of the people of Israel and Judah were left stranded in the Holy Land after the Babylonian Captivity in part because they could not manage to keep the Covenant. We have sacramental graces to strengthen us. It is possible that the Church may be reduced to a tiny remnant one day, but we need to be more optimistic than this. After all, we have the Good News!
Nor does it do any good to turn “many are called but few are chosen” into a doctrine. Herbert Musurillo, S. J. gave us a thorough exegesis of Matthew 22:14 long ago (in Theological Studies in 1946.) He makes three arguments. Firstly, Church Fathers and modern exegetes are in disagreement over whether “many” and “few” really mean that we are meant, literally, to estimate that few will actually be saved. Secondly, both Fathers and modern scholars debate whether the “many” refers to Gentiles or to Jews, among whom the Apostles saw a certain reluctance to fully embrace Christian Faith and practice. Thirdly, since there is no way in which we can possibly know how many will actually be saved, Father Musurillo warns priests to be very, very careful in their use of Matthew 22:14 in the pulpit.
Jesus is quoted as making other stringent statements, as in Matthew 7:13, which you cite, Monsignor Pope. But Matthew’s Gospel stresses obedience to the Law, while other New Testament writers stress the freedom that Faith brings us. There is tension here, between fear of hell and hope for heaven. We simply have to live with the tension, which is, after all, a healthy tension. It keeps us from Presumption and from Despair–two very deadly sins.
The genuine Christian response to the increasingly severe crisis of culture through which we are living is to raise our eyes to the road ahead, and go forward eagerly. We have a great joy in the Gospel, as Pope Francis says, and we must not put our joy away, cowering in fear and worried about a bleak future. The future belongs to God, and we believe as Catholics that God intends that everyone who seeks Him, who continues to reach out to Him, shall share in it.
Tom, thanks for your reference to Fr. Musurillo’s work. Much appreciated.
Thank you Msgr. Pope. That was a very good response to a persistent argument. If we change with whatever time we find ourselves in, then we will just be giving in to fashion, and fashion is almost out of style the moment it is embraced. People left Jesus after he had given the Bread of Life discourse and he let them go. However imperfectly we do it, we must always proclaim the truth we have been given, and always with charity.
Go to a Latin mass (if you can find room to sit). I am sure you will discover what is wrong with the services available in the other churches. Recently, while sitting in one of the post Vatican II churches, listening to a sermon on social justice, I asked myself why I bothered to get out of bed. I can get the same sermon on MSNBC.
Linker suggests, and axiomatically supports, a church “of the people, by the people…” a deific democracy of sorts. When you have strayed too far from the Truth to see it, his option is to recreate truth and place it within sight. E.g the golden calf in Deuteronomy 9:12.
Lookit, the Church will teach the truth unto the last man. Period. Those who want to be saved will hear it and adhere to it and be saved; those who don’t, won’t. If the whole company of the Church militant is one man on the last day, so be it. We can’t control those who fall away. We can’t save them. They’ve heard the gospel and rejected it; well, very good, off you go, go to a more comfortable false religion that challenges you less, that is more conformable to the conceits of your era. Enjoy it while you can. All we can do is continue in truth and beauty and hope that it’s enough to entice a few back onto the liferaft. But if they’d rather freeze or drown for the sake of rock and roll and social justice? Bye.
Fr. Pope: You were reading The Week? I commend your bravery!
This is an excellent post, Monsignor. It’s fair and balanced.
However, I must say I think Mr. Linker is right in arguing that the Church has been weak in defending some of its positions – particularly its position against the ordination of women. This is what his article says about the Church’s position on this issue:
“Here is the [Church’s] argument [against ordaining women] in its entirety: Christ chose 12 men to be his apostles; they in turn chose men to help them spread the word of God; today’s priests and bishops are the direct descendants of these original apostles; therefore, the church doesn’t have the power to ordain women.
The church would be on much firmer ground if the Gospels recorded Christ explicitly stating that he chose men to be his apostles because it is God’s will that only men can serve in that role. But of course he said no such thing. A weaker but at least potentially defensible argument would involve some sort of claim about the nature of women being incompatible with ordination. But the church makes no such argument.”
Those last two sentences are key. Mr. Linker is surely correct that the Church makes no argument about the nature of women being incompatible with ordination. This is a mistake on the part of the Church because, as Mr. Linker seems to suggest, it makes the Church’s traditional reasons for opposing female ordination seem weak and unreasonable.
Mr. Linker is wrong, however, that it would be a weak argument to suggest that women’s nature is incompatible with ordination. On the contrary, scientific research is increasingly showing that men and women are indeed different and that gender roles are not socially constructed but, in fact, stem from innate differences. The Church should not be bashful about asserting that men and women are innately suited to different roles and that this is the key reason why women are not suited to ordination.
Here is a good article by a Jewish writer [who is nonetheless sympathetic to Catholicism]. He writes [only partially tongue-in-cheek] that one of the reasons why women can’t be priests is that women cannot properly administer the sacrament of reconciliation:
In the First Century A.D., most then existent religions with the notable exception of Judaism, had priestesses as well as priests.
Certainly Jesus could have ordained St. Mary Magdalen; He actually chose her to carry the message of His Resurrection to the Eleven. The fact that Jesus limited the Ordained apostles to men seems a most powerful precedent to me.
We have to be careful in comparing the three great monotheistic religions with ancient pagan cults. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.
The problem with the Church’s justifications for not ordaining women is that they are based exclusively on Scripture and tradition. They are not based on reason. Appeals to Scripture and tradition don’t carry much weight in the wider world these days, but appeals to reason do.
The Church should not be shy in asserting that there are innate differences between men and women and that these justify not ordaining women. Church policy in this area is not based on misogyny, but on recognition that God made men and women different and that each sex is suited to different roles accordingly.
The doctrine of the Catholic Church is a woman’s best friend, except that most women in today’s world haven’t a clue that this has been and will always be the case. No other religion reveres women and their complimentarity with men in the way the doctrine/magisterium of Catholicism does. (And that is without women ‘ordained’ to the priesthood which is an impossibility for the one true church of Jesus Christ, which is the Catholic Church.)
Both Monsignor and Mr.Linkler sort of “short changed” the reasons WHY Women can’t be Ordained. And yes he did get one out of three correct.
The Other two: Ordination is a Sacrament Instituted by Christ, and even the Pope can’t overrule God. And the fact that part of the words of Consecration are “this is MY body; this is MY Blood:. “MY” being the critical word
demands a males gender priesthood because Christ too is MAle Gender.
I have no doubt that Monsignor knows this [FAR better than I] and was just being charitable. But if we teach the truth, it ought to be in it’s entirety. Some who read these public teaching may not be aware of it.
I am most thankful for the clear and lucid teachings of Monsignor Pope. Please keep up the great work!
God Bless you, and thanks for all that you do for us.
I would like to ask Mr. Linker and his ilk just one question: If the Church were exactly like the world, what would be the point of belonging to her?
Mr Linker, like so many enemies of the Church is simply showing his arrogance as much as his ignorance about Catholic doctrine and sacraments by his critique of her. The male priestly identity has its source and origin in the Blessed Trinity. It is within this mystery of Trinitarian communion that the priest’s identity and mission is revealed. He is sent forth by the Father through the Son, to whom he is configured in a special way as head and shepherd of his people, in order to live and work by the power of the Holy Spirit in service of the Church, the bride of Christ for the salvation of the world. This truth has been revealed and willed by God. It comes from above and not below.
Excellent analysis, Monsignor. I took note of your sentence, “The world is becoming more secular and that trend does not seem to be changing anytime soon.” A change might be taking place in academia, at least that’s what Oxford’s Vince Vitale says in a remarkable video on YouTube. In about five minutes he he makes the provocative case that God is very much alive among the contemporary generation of university philosophers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWjR8C8bKhQ
Your a good man Msgr. Pope. I read this article and chalked it up to Damon Linker writing about something he was clueless about. I’ll be going to confession on Saturday morning for my internal answers to Mr. Linker.
Thank you for your blog that answered more reverently.
The interesting thing about those who think that the function of the Church “is to reflect the views that are popular and common today among the people” is that ‘the people’ are always Western, and a particular set of people in the West at that. They never suggest that the Church should adapt its views to those of people in Africa or the Middle East or the rain forests of South America. Now that, up to a point, is fine if you are thinking in terms of ’Churches’ which are organised on national lines but the Catholic Church is a universal Church. So, the only conclusion which it is possible to come to is that those who say that the Catholic Church should “reflect the views that are popular and common today among the people” is that they are advocating totally separate Catholic Churches for the West, for Africa, for the Middle East, etc. These separate Catholic Churches would have completely different doctrines and these doctrines would be in constant flux as the views “common today” chopped and changed with the wind. But I don’t think that these people think that it is the function of the Church “to reflect the views that are popular and common today among the people”. I think they think that the function is to be popular and that to be popular the Church has to “reflect the views that are popular and common today among the people”.
While I agree that we have a problem in the secularization of the Church sorry to have to point this out but there are MODERNISTS in the Church who started making their damage obvious after the Council. They were the ones who coined the term spirit of Vatican II. But let’s face it. This really started after 1968 after Pope Paul VI put out his last encyclical and the American Bishops at first said they would follow it switched gears and went along with the Canadian Bishops with the Winnipeg statement on Freedom of Conscience. Also while the Council was valid much of the language in its documents have never been officially clarified so it was believed everything was up for grabs and much of what we see in Germany is a false notion of Collegiality. It means acting with and under Peter, not against him or apart from him. This is why so many have either left or joined the SSPX or an Orthodox Church. Modernism is the main factor in this vast falling away from the Church.
Seems to me that you next post (March 26)on hyperstimulation could be one reason modern man does not go to church.
Dear father, pray for me. I told my daughter that we should not have her baptized at the Buddy Jesus church St. Frances and I will put forward an effort to have her Baptized in a Church that is Catholic. Every time I went to the catechism class with my daughter, the faith was given lip service or I was at odds with the “way the catholic church should be” teacher. What did it all in for me was when said teacher directed a quote of Christ out of context to my daughter; “Get thee behind me satan!” It all had to do with the washing of feed ceremony in which the catechumens’ were going to have their feet washed and I shook my head and my daughter objected to the idea of being in front of every one with her foot exposed. To me it was just wrong, but the enlighten teacher wanted to make fun and make light of something that has more meaning to me than just take care of the poor and hungry. To directed the comment not to me, which I could understand, but to my daughter was what got me mad and it is not right to pretend that I am wanted there or that this church even cares about what God wants. They can take their social justice program straight to the Prez. of the USA and he can give them give them more O-Care. P.S. I couldn’t leave a question it the box above, so my question would be, what is wrong with me?
What is the fundamental mission of the church?
To bring everyone into a life-changing transformative relationship with Jesus Christ through word and sacrament.
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