Friday, June 20, 2014

New Uprising Of Faith For Archdiocese Of St. John’s?

Published today to

From a blog entry dated September 1, 2005, St. John’s NL:

I find it very sad and awful that in our own archdiocese of St. John’s, Newfoundland, a tremendous amount of effort has been put into the preparation of a document entitled A Challenge To Change. This report was commissioned due to very serious problems being faced by the Archdiocese because of shrinking population and shortage of priests.

A whole host of comments, suggestions and speculation was offered as to the causes and cures for this crisis, the major solution advanced being the clustering of parishes. The report clearly acknowledges that Newfoundland, a province where a high percentage of the population is Catholic, has the lowest birthrate in Canada. The report concludes with a summary of the “responses” and “other comments” offered by parties involved in the process, the very last comment stating in an eerie, prophetic sense, the following: “At best this is a stop-gag measure. With one new priest every 3-5 years the end is in sight. We need to be preparing for a non-clerical church.”

What’s the most surprising, even shocking, and obvious omission in this report? Nowhere does it even mention that Catholic failure to follow Church teaching regarding the evil of contraception is an inevitable cause of low birthrates and dwindling populations.  And can there be any doubt that an apathetic and disobedient community of Catholics (as evidenced by this attitude) fails to inspire young men to the priesthood?

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.

The video shown above appeared in a newscast last month on NTV News, on May 21 to be precise. On the same day, The Telegram released its story on the financial woes of the Archdiocese of St. John’s. Some relevant portions include:

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s has appealed to its parishioners because of the state of its finances…
And as part of long-range planning, it will also examine its holdings to see which churches can be closed and buildings sold. For example, St. Paul’s and Mary Queen of Peace are close to one another, he said.

Among the 38 parishes, there are also a number of rural churches that no longer have large enough congregations to sustain the ex­pense.

“Sometime we have to ask some tough questions,” (Archbishop Martin) Currie said of the future.
Currie acknowledged the younger generation is not as active in church matters, including donations.

“Hopefully, we can have a new uprising of faith,” he said.

A new uprising of faith? “But faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Can faith be separated from obedience to the Word of Christ? A certain Christian hymn declares, “By the pathway of duty flows the river of God’s grace.” And again, in Holy Scripture, “If ye love me keep my commandments.”

And Christ speaks today, revealing His commandments through His Church, through Her Magisterium. Through the medium of the Church’s teaching we know the will and mind of God to all those who call themselves followers of Christ. These foundational truths of the Word of God and the Catholic Church confirm for us that the Archbishop will not see any new uprising of faith in the context of this appeal because the basic problem being addressed here is adverse social consequences directly resulting from decades’ long disobedience to Church teaching on artificial contraception.

I’ve appealed to readers here, there and everywhere to examine the basic connection between our coming demographic crunch and the contraceptive mentality, particularly emphasizing the Catholic Bishops’ failure to communicate Catholic teaching on this subject.

There are profound effects upon a man and upon a society when he engages in an unnatural behaviour, that is, an action contrary to the natural law. Psychological effects, spiritual effects, social effects are chief on the list. Which, do you think, are the more significant effects, i.e. the ones with the longer term consequences? A true Catholic, in response, would doubtless point to the spiritual effects. According to Father John Hardon, S.J., the spiritual effects of contraception are fatal to the faith. According to Monsignor Vincent Foy, the denial of the Church’s teaching on contraception is “a crime…leading our beloved Church in Canada deep into the Valley of Death.”

Unnatural behaviours are objectively evil, that is to say they are fundamentally opposed to God and His nature and are repugnant to him. Now here’s where we connect again with the news report from the Archdiocese of St. John’s. Don’t you think that someone who represented the person and interests of God in a community would be careful to warn people of the dangers of offending God by such actions and the risks to their eternal salvation? After all, we are talking about sin and evil, plain and simple, regardless of the great numbers of people in favour of such behaviour or even practicing it. Clearly, widespread participation in sin hardly absolves the leader from his responsibility to warn the people.

Let’s ask ourselves how God views such behaviour carried out by His own people? Does he just see a happy clappy bunch of Catholics, a little bit ignorant but just trying to do their best, or does he want to vomit for the most part? The average Catholic is guilty in this matter, no doubt, but in all the condemnations Jesus issued he reserved the worst judgments for the religious leaders of his day who, in addition to themselves, were leading many others into the ditch.

There are social and national consequences to sin. Thousands, if not millions, of people are impacted and may suffer greatly, or even perish, as a result. Consider Sodom and Gomorrah, the Flood in Noah’s day, Nineveh, Israel in captivity, etc. Do some Bishops not grasp this concept? Or is it simply that they do not believe in sin, or don’t believe that their denial and apathy concerning Church law constitutes sin?

Indeed, the tormenting fact is that millions are already perishing due to the sin of contraception, a practice which became pervasive in the 1960’s and which paved the way for the legalization of abortion in Canada. There is a direct link between these two great evils and so far abortion has resulted in over 3.5 million deaths, to say nothing of the unimaginable numbers of little souls, who, over the same time period, have lost their bodies to spontaneous abortion in the womb due to use of the contraceptive pill. This is truly the most tragic social outcome of the Bishops’ silence. And, still, the killing continues day after day.

So let’s never forget proper perspective in this matter. Declining numbers of the faithful showing up for Mass and fewer dollars in the collection plate is hardly the real news story because hidden beneath the ink are more complex—and deadly—social consequences of the “sterile sex” phenomenon. Too many Bishops steadfastly refuse to discuss the link to the practice of this socially destructive behaviour let alone point to spiritually destructive aspects of the practice. Even when it is destroying a Bishop’s own flock and the surrounding society so many are content to say nothing and hope the ship won’t go down. Could we imagine a more severe case of compromise in spiritual leadership?

Perhaps they believe, like Cardinal O'Malley, that they can't speak out in the public square on any issues because they’ve lost their moral authority over the sexual abuse crisis.” If so, I say “Resign” immediately and make room for worthy Bishops who will not remain silent on the evils of the day.

When will Bishops acknowledge the word of Christ on this evil, do their duty by preaching and warning the people and so save their dioceses from sure collapse? And on that same day the killing of the innocents will abate.

No comments: