Monday, September 17, 2018

Being Catholic in a Time of Scandal

From Aleteia:
Two thousand years ago, while he hung on the Cross, Jesus saw the filth that would threaten to obscure the holiness of his Church. He saw each egregious sin now detailed in grand jury reports and victims’ testimonies. He knew that some of his clergy would abandon him like Judas. He knew that some people—right in the heart of the Church—would commit evil, abhorrent acts and others would work to cover them up. He knew that people would leave the Church, offended and wounded by these sins against God. Jesus cried tears of blood as these heartrending scenes flashed before his eyes. These sins and their effects were so burdensome, so unimaginably painful that the Son of God cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46).

The Church began in a moment when it seemed like death had won. St. Ambrose wrote, “As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.” Throughout the centuries in the Church, there have continued to be many periods in which death and evil seemed to have won. In fact, the Church seems continually on the brink of death, either through persecution from the outside or from its own members’ terrible sins. 

Yet, the Church endures. How? Because God remains with us—even in the midst of great sin. The Church is a visible sign of God’s plan of union with all of humanity. The image of the Church as Christ’s bride reveals the kind of intimate union God has with his Church. This union is so close that St. Paul tells the people of Corinth, “You are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it” (Cor 1 12:27). St. Cyprian of Carthage encouragingly described the strength of the Church’s bonds of unity: “God is one, and Christ is one, and his Church is one, and the faith is one … Unity cannot be severed; nor can one body be separated by a division of its structure, nor torn into pieces, with its entrails wrenched asunder by laceration.” In other words, no matter what happens, Christ remains in union with the Church. (Read more.)

From Return to Order:
 Saint Pius X waged a relentless struggle against the modernist heresy that had deeply infiltrated the Church. He pointed out its errors and methods of action in a number of Pontifical documents and took many disciplinary measures.13 This heresy, nevertheless, carried on its insidious action inside the Church. Pius XII launched several important encyclicals against it.14 Paul VI denounced its presence in the Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, in 1964:
Was not the phenomenon of modernism, for example, which still crops up in the various attempts at expressing what is foreign to the authentic nature of the Catholic religion, an episode of abuse exercised against the faithful and genuine expression of the doctrine and criterion of the Church of Christ by psychological and cultural forces of the profane world?15
(Read more.)

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