Monday, December 02, 2013

Key To New Evangelization Is To Trust The ‘Tough Truths’ On Sexuality

Bishop Thomas Olmsted

To trust the truth is to trust Christ and to trust that His Gospel of Life is truly Good News for the world. … Truth and faith are bound together. Faith opens the door to truths that reason alone could never come to know. …

Because vociferous sectors of our skeptical culture harshly criticize truths of faith—especially those about marriage, human life and religious liberty—a number of Catholics, even some of our clergy, have lost confidence in some of the tough truths that come to us from Christ through the Church.

Such loss of confidence impedes our ability to stand up for the rights of the most vulnerable in society and to bear convincing witness to the Gospel. In a skeptical age, our American continent needs from us a humble yet confident witness to the truth that finds it fullness in our Savior.

So says Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix.

There can be little doubt that our own Catholic clergy here in the Archdiocese of St. John’s are among those who have lost confidence in (or is it obstinately rejects?) Church teaching. I have often thought that a reluctance—worse still a skepticism—by Catholics to declare the fullness of the Catholic faith is fatal to evangelism, and therefore, to the New Evangelization. Why, and how, could a Christian share his faith if he thought some part of it was flawed, outdated, or plain wrong? And who would be attracted to such a religion? This seems, to me, to explain why Catholics have had such little interest or success (in my lifetime) in sharing their faith with non-Catholics, and also why a great many appear to be running on empty, spiritually speaking. Unbelief, in any shape or degree, is fatal to the faith, is it not?

And so,

the Church is dying, and rather than allow the fresh breath of the Holy Spirit to speak new life by means of the Truth given to the Church, we prefer to discuss how we should dress the dead body and make final preparations for the funeral. [From commentary on the Archdiocesan document entitled A Challenge To Change]

Only the Bishops can save the day, to be sure. But are they willing to own up to their failures and embrace the fullness of the Catholic faith and foster its reception by the sheep under their charge?

Bishop Olmsted concluded his remarks:

While much work remains to be done, we should also be encouraged by the efforts of so many individuals and organizations to protect innocent human life. In particular, we are blessed to have an increasing number of initiatives that promote closer collaboration between Pro Life and Pro Family leaders and organizations in various countries of the American continent.

Should we not count it a privilege and blessed opportunity from God to bear witness to the Gospel of Life today, to stand up for the life and dignity of the most vulnerable among us, and to work with others of good will to secure the right to life of all?

Apparently the Bishop considers it an honour to work with all pro-life individuals of good will who are working to secure the right to life of all. Unfortunately some Bishops are all too selective in what prolife groups they work with.

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