I’m Still Not Going Back to the Catholic Church

Pope Francis only confirms my decision to leave

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It’s not hard to understand why people are so excited about Pope Francis. Since his sensational interview last week, many have said that with his personal warmth and determination to put doctrine in the background, Francis is just the man to bring a lot of fallen-away Catholics back into the church.

Maybe. But I’m an ex-Catholic whose decision to leave the Catholic Church is not challenged by Francis’ words but rather confirmed.

Just over two decades ago, when I began the process to enter the Roman Catholic Church as an adult convert, I chose to receive instruction at a university parish, figuring that the quality of teaching would be more rigorous. After three months of guided meditations and endless God is love lectures, I dropped out.

I agreed that God is love, but that didn’t tell me what He would expect of me if I became a Catholic. Besides, I had spent four years dancing around the possibility of returning to the Christianity of my youth. When I made my first steps back to churchgoing as an adult, I found plenty of good people who told me God is love but who never challenged me to change my life.

(MORE: Mary Eberstadt: The Pope Is No Radical)

What needed changing? Lots. My own brokenness was plain to me, and I was ready to turn from my destructive sins and become a new person. The one thing I didn’t want to do was surrender my sexual liberty, which was my birthright as a young American male. I knew, though, that without fully giving over my will to God, any conversion would be precarious. By then, I was all too wary of my evasions. To convert provisionally — that is, provided that the Church didn’t hassle me about my sex life — would really be about seeking the psychological comforts of religion without making sacrifices.

What I was told, in effect, in that university Catholic parish was that God loved me just as I was — true — but that I didn’t need to do anything else. It dawned on me one day that at the end of this process, all of us in the class would end up as Catholics but have no idea what the Catholic Church taught. I bolted, and a year later, I was received into the church in another parish.

If you know about the Catholic Church only from reading the papers, you are in for a shock once you come inside. The image of American Catholicism shown by the media is of a church preoccupied with sex and abortion. It’s not remotely true. I was a faithful Mass-going Catholic for 13 years, attending a number of parishes in five cities in different parts of the country. I could count on one hand the number of homilies I heard that addressed abortion or sexuality in any way. Rather, the homilies were wholly therapeutic, almost always some saccharine variation of God is love.

Well, yes, He is, but Sunday School simplicities get you only so far. Classical Catholic theology dwells on the paradox of God’s love and God’s justice. As Dante shows in the Divine Comedy, God’s love is God’s justice poured out on those who reject Him. In the Gospels, Jesus offers compassion to sinners rejected by religious rigorists, but he also tells them to reform their lives, to “go forth and sin no more.”

Was I frustrated because the priests wouldn’t preach God’s judgment instead of God’s mercy? By no means. I was frustrated because they wouldn’t preach God’s judgment at all, which is to say, they preached Christ without the Cross. I knew the depths of the sins from which I was being delivered, and it felt wrong to treat His amazing grace like it was a common courtesy. As the reggae song says, “Everybody wants to get to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

In his recent book about Anglicanism, Our Church, the English philosopher Roger Scruton says the greatest problem in the modern world is the “loss of the habit of repentance.” Broadly speaking, there seemed to me to be no particular interest in the American Catholic church in repentance, because there was no particular interest in the reality of sin. The stereotypical idea of the Catholic Church as a sin-obsessed, legalistic hothouse surely came from somewhere. But for Catholics like me, born in the late 1960s, this cramped and miserable picture of the church may as well have come from antiquity.

The contemporary era of global Catholicism began in 1959, when the newly elected Pope John XXIII sought to “open the windows” of the fusty old Church to the modern world by calling the Second Vatican Council. Three years later, in his opening address to the council, the charismatic and avuncular pope called for “a new enthusiasm, a new joy and serenity of mind in the unreserved acceptance by all of the entire Christian faith,” without compromising on doctrine. A fierce spirit of the age blasted through those newly-opened windows, scouring nearly everything in its path. The coming decades would see a collapse in Catholic catechesis and Catholic discipline. The so-called “spirit of Vatican II” — a perversion of the Council’s actual teaching — justified many subsequent outrages.

In 2002, when the clerical-sex-abuse scandal broke nationwide, the full extent of the rot within the church became manifest. All that post-Vatican II happy talk and non-judgmentalism had been a facade concealing what then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — later Pope Benedict XVI — would call the “filth” in the church. Many American bishops deployed the priceless Christian language of love and forgiveness in an effort to cover their own foul nakedness in a cloak of cheap grace.

(MOREWhy Celibacy Policy for Catholic Priests Is Not Changing Soon)

During that excruciating period a decade ago, rage at what I and other journalists uncovered about the church’s corruption pried my ability to believe in Catholic Christianity out of me, like torturers ripping fingernails out with pliers. It wasn’t the crimes that did it as much as the bishops’ unwillingness to repent and the Vatican’s disinterest in holding them to account. If the church’s hierarchy cannot commit itself credibly to justice and mercy to the victims of its own clergy and bishops, I thought, do they really believe in the doctrines they teach?

All this put the moral unseriousness of the American church in a certain light. As the scandal raged, one Ash Wednesday, I attended Mass at my comfortable suburban parish and heard the priest deliver a sermon describing Lent as a time when we should all come to love ourselves more.

If I had to pinpoint a single moment at which I ceased to be a Roman Catholic, it would have been that one. I fought for two more years to hold on, thinking that having the syllogisms from my catechism straight in my head would help me stand firm. But it was useless. By then I was a father, and I did not want to raise my children in a church where sentimentality and self-satisfaction were the point of the Christian life. It wasn’t safe to raise my children in this church, I thought — not because they would be at risk of predators but because the entire ethos of the American church, like the ethos of the decadent post-Christian society in which it lives, is not that we should die to ourselves so that we can live in Christ, as the New Testament demands, but that we should learn to love ourselves more.

Flannery O’Connor, one of my Catholic heroes, famously said, “Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you. What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross.” American Catholicism was not pushing back against the hostile age at all. Rather, it had become a pushover. God is love was not a proclamation that liberated us captives from our sin and despair but rather a bromide and a platitude that allowed us to believe that and to behave as if our lust, greed, malice and so forth — sins that I struggled with every day — weren’t to be despised and cast out but rather shellacked by a river of treacle.

I finally broke. Losing my Catholic faith was the most painful thing that ever happened to me. Today, as much as I admire Pope Francis and understand the enthusiasm among Catholics for him, his interview makes me realize that the good, if incomplete, work that John Paul II and Benedict XVI did to restore the church after the violence of the revolution stands to be undone. Though I agree with nearly everything the Pope said last week in his interview and cheer inwardly when he chastises rigorist knotheads who would deny the healing medicine of the church to anyone, I fear his merciful words will be received not as love but license. The “spirit of Pope Francis” will replace the “spirit of Vatican II” as the rationalization people will use to ignore the difficult teachings of the faith. If so, this Pope will turn out to be like his predecessor John XXIII: a dear man, but a tragic figure.

(MOREFather James Martin on the Pope’s Interview: ‘We Knew We Had Spiritual Dynamite’)

In his interview, the Pope used a metaphor for the church that is often employed by Eastern Orthodox Christianity: he called it a “field hospital” where the walking wounded can receive treatment. He’s right, but it’s important to discern the nature of the cure on offer. Anesthesia is a kind of medicine that masks pain, but it’s not the kind of medicine that heals the underlying sickness.

There is, of course, no such thing as the perfect church, but in Orthodoxy, which radically resists the moralistic therapeutic deism that characterizes so much American Christianity, I found a soul-healing balance. In my Russian Orthodox country mission parish this past Sunday, the priest preached about love, joy, repentance and forgiveness — in all its dimensions. Addressing parents in the congregation, he exhorted us to be merciful, kind and forgiving toward our children. But he also warned against thinking of love as giving our children what they want as opposed to what they need.

“Giving them what they want may make it easier for us,” he said, “but we must love our children enough to teach them the hard lessons and compel them toward the good.”

True, that. And I cherish this pastor because he loves his people enough to teach us the hard lessons, and to compel us past mediocrity and toward the good. Catholic priests of the same mind and orientation as my Orthodox pastor — and I know many of them — are telling me that the Holy Father, by signaling to his American flock that God is love and the rest doesn’t really matter, just made their mission a lot more difficult. But that is no longer my problem.

MOREThe Four Reform Themes of Pope Francis in New Interview

269 comments
diggit03
diggit03

According to the US Department of Education’s report on the issue, entitled Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature, “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by [Catholic] priests.” Why, one wonders, in the ever-present debates over the pay of teachers, public school programs and the like, is there no brilliant, hip man who stands up and says, “Yes, but everything you’re saying is suspect because teachers rape children,” as many have said about priests on this blog.


and this: http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.ae/2012/11/this-is-my-story-it-might-be-your-story.html


Peace in Christ. 

okuntemple
okuntemple

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mase414
mase414

I am most disturbed by the Marian teachings of the RCC.  Was Mary conceived without sin? No. (Luke 1:47)  Did she ascend bodily into heaven? No. (John 3:13)

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FrankGrace

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MatLow
MatLow

From the time of Jesus Christ on Earth, the church has struggled.  No servant is greater than its master.  And know this - wherever man is so is the propensity for sin and evil.

THE CHURCH STRUGGLES, FALLS AND PREVAILS

 The apostle Peter struggled constantly yet Jesus entrusted him with the authority to continue the church's establishment in Our Lord's physical absence:

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

While remaining its head Christ prudently made provision for the church's continuation throughout the ages starting with Peter and charging the remaining apostles and disciples to bring souls to God through the spreading of Christianity - that through acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and by believing in him, one could receive eternal life [with God] as opposed to eternal damnation [with Satan].

Peter's discipleship during Jesus' time is very much the template of the Catholic Church's history. He doubts the power of Jesus as he walks across the water:

 ...he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

Peter is also rebuked by Jesus for intending to prevent the fruition of Christ's purpose:

 "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

The Catholic Church has evolved in much the same way.  And towards the end where Christ needed Peter the most, Peter turns away completely and denies knowing him - three times:

"Woman," he said, "I don't even know him!"

While this comparison to the history of the Catholic Church, especially in today's times, may appear extreme it is not.  Finally Peter himself is crucified in Rome.  

The upside of all this, at least as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, is Jesus's spoken word: 

"...on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL against it."  Prevail in this context means to 'be victorious'.
   

Hmm, so there is hope despite the colossal failures and mistakes perpetrated within and without the Catholic Church.

Here again are Our Lord's words:

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." 

THE HOLY SACRIFICE

There has been much disillusionment over the years with the modernising of the Liturgy of the Mass, which was once prefaced by the word Sacred.  In 1570, Pope Pius V enforced upon the clergy that the approved liturgy of the day, which had evolved through several previous variations, had been deemed the only form necessary for the celebration of the Catholic Mass. The papal command given at that time was that this liturgical form was to be used in perpetuity and by order of obedience was not to be changed by anyone.  Ever.  Here are the final words of Pius V in his Papal Bull 'Quo Primum':

Therefore, NO ONE whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. [Emphasis added]. 

This liturgical form survived four hundred years, loved or hated.  And of course where God is, or at least where his followers are, the evil one is sure to be.  And the Catholic Church is no way exempt with many of its followers throughout the ages, both clerical and laymen, falling to the insinuations of Satan.

Obedience ends when sin begins.  Vatican Council ll, pastoral as opposed to dogmatic, began a precipitous descent into the desecration of the Sacred Liturgy and in particular the Canon of the Mass, which actualises the true presence of Christ on the altar - a mystery of faith.  This is the only offering we poor sinners can make that is capable of truly pleasing God. With the changes made to the liturgy which Pope Pius V had commanded was not be enacted it is now somewhat doubtful whether the True Presence is actualised, hence the reason some Catholics have returned to the old liturgy.  The old mass.  And these people have been vilified and persecuted because of it.  But as already mentioned where man is so too is the evil one and many there are among the practicers of the old mass who also bring ill-repute often by way of rigorism and scrupulosity.  The danger here for us as observers is to pridefully conclude that the fault of a minority is an accurate reflection of the majority.  Only God can know such things. 

In hindsight can one come to the conclusion the Sacred Liturgy was and is the central energising core of authentic Catholic teaching and communicative reconciliation with God.  With this authenticity comes the fair and equitable instruction of both good and evil, Heaven and Hell, justice and mercy, rewards for good works and consequences of sin.  Teaching is centralised on respect for God first then subsequently man.  These prescriptive teachings penetrate the schools and families of Catholic community.  What we see today is predominantly unauthentic teaching in both a Christian and truly Catholic sense and therefore a recognisably evident deconstruction of respect, whether toward God, others or self.  From this we see a pandemic of ill-discipline and the devastating effects of such and it those in want of discipline who complain the loudest against God's instruction: charitable respect and self-control.  What is all the more surprising in the authentic Christian instruction is charity [love] as the primary motivating catalyst.  Today we spit at this just as the cursing bystanders spat at Jesus on his way to Calvary.  We really are stupid.

FINALLY

Yes the Catholic Church is an old corrupted battlewagon that has precariously sailed down the sea of ages with a radical captain and crew determined to give it a new paint job as she goes.  And despite all the rust and holes and war ravaged panels she's still there.  And Our Lord Jesus Christ is still and always will be the driving force within its engines that relentlessly propel it forward regardless of any thieves and brigands that enter into. 

Return or no return to the Catholic Church is secondary to a fuller and deeper understanding of that which you finally adhere to.  Ask a few questions, seek wise counsel, don't let emotion decide your course.  Emotions are like a weather vane, pointing in a new direction with every strong breath of wind.  Know that God made you, helped you, allowed you to develop your skills, talents and abilities, the use of your faculties so that one day you may have the courtesy to ask Him, "Would you like to use my abilities that you have so freely and graciously given me for some purpose?"  A hundred to one on that he asks you to help Him to help you and others to come to live with Him - forever.

Peace. 

Franny_Priest
Franny_Priest

People ARE like sheep and they will be led back to, or into, the Catholic Church because they cannot figure out that Pope Francis is the Catholic Church's 'damage control'. It's being found out for what it really is; a massively powerful monetary organisation filled with pedophiles which uses God to control people. God has nothing to do with it; in fact he knew the truth all along as stated in Revelation 17 'Its sins are piled up to the highest heaven and it wears scarlet and purple robes and holds a gold cup'. It is Australia's largest employer and growing ever stronger. All the kings of the earth bow down to the leader of the ring of pedophile money merchants and people were beginning to wake up but behold 'a charming leader of the pedophile money merchants, one who says we need access to more 'poor'. The vatican, note, has never given a thing to anyone but as they say, it is the richest organisation with the poorest congregation. So, more poor, more money. Go Holy Francis!

CharlesMcDermott
CharlesMcDermott

I am attending a Catholic church with my wife.  I am not Catholic.  Before the new priest that just came it was "business as usual" at this parish.  People went to mass, went through the rituals and left.  There was more focus on "who I am" than on being in God's house and worshipping Him.


A new bishop is appointed to the diocese and a new priest is assigned to this parish.  WOW!  Has he shaken up parishioners.  Those that thought they ran the parish have been told to "take a hike so to speak and  the priest is in charge".  Not only is he in charge of the administration but his homilies are more evangelical challenging the members to read the Bible everyday and come to mass to worship Christ.  By the way the priest is from Nigeria,


My point is Americans culture has moved towards people supposedly being "nice" to everyone.  Well, what has happened is that the rich have become richer being nice and the poor poorer.  Our churches have forgotten about preaching the old "hell, fire and brimstone" from the pulpit.


As the Nigerian priest has so aptly put it, "aren't these people worried about their souls?"  He also commented that there have not been enough men in America who have become priests and therefore the Catholic church has had to go to other countries to get their priests. So Catholics, don't complain.


This all leads to the old phrase "we dig our own graves".  Americans churches, wake up.  People want to hear the Gospel.  They want to be led and instructed like children to the knowledge that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer.  Religion is not a course that you learn in k-12 or college.  


RobertCatone
RobertCatone

I am a Roman Catholic since my cradle days, However;  I can not in good conscience take part in anything to do with the Church today.  I cannot get past the pedophilia horror and the morally corrupt fathers in the Church who, through horrific means hid them, lied about them, cast aspersions on the injured parties.  After all of that many of these same leaders had the unmitigated gall to expect parishioners to forget and help pay the debt created by these very leaders.  Some day in the (hopefully) not too distant future, these disgraceful, corrupt sinners will be gone.  Unfortunately for me, I too will be gone.  I have not lost faith in the Lord, I have lost faith in humanity and human institutions.  Of late I have begun to get really serious about the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church, who I know, have had their own share of horrors in the past.  I do feel at one with their spiritual view of everything as opposed to the scholarly view of the Roman Catholic Church. 


Honestly I know in my heart that my inability to forgive is costing more and more as time goes by.  I guess we do all have our own cross to bear.  Right now I am a religion and church of one. 

bunchalotta
bunchalotta

I'm a current convert and I had to re-read this article to make certain you were talking about the same church I'm converting to because it sounds like you're talking about the evangelical Christian non-denominational churches to me.  My experience couldn't be more different than what you've described here and in fact, is completely opposite.  And like you, I've attended mass at many different parishes, not only around the U.S., but around the world AND I was attending them as a born-and-bred protestant.  I don't understand how you could have such a wildly different experience than I am having.  I'm around your age and have been brought up in the Christian faith my entire life but have learned more in the past 3 months about God & religion than I ever learned all those years.


Also, if you quit your classes after only 3 months, no wonder you didn't learn anything about the Catholic Church and what she believes.  The first parts of RCIA are about history.  Learning about Catholic doctrine and the sacraments comes after Advent.


I'm sorry you didn't find the truth you were looking for.  But I've had enough of the sugary "we don't want to offend anyone" sermons where the preachers are treated like rock stars, the music is a performance rather than God-focused and no-one is held accountable for anything.  To each their own.

edseroloc
edseroloc

Being a cradle Catholic I have heard my share of homilies that were feel good for sure, some people may need this. But you seem to be looking for something that the Parish you choose didn't address. I don’t think you should feel pushed away by this but you should look to different Orders in the church, maybe one that preaches the catechism more. My only advice to you is spend some time in adoration and ask the Lord for guidance. He is the only one that can guide you,,,, If you listen that is….      

KimberlyMargosein
KimberlyMargosein

Rodney, face up to your cowardice.  Be honest with yourself, and realize that you are a gay man who likes it a bit rough. 

DeGaulle
DeGaulle

Rod, I am very sympathetic with your views. You are obviously very sincere and absolutely Christian in your approach to these issues. As a Catholic, and one who intends to remain so, your views strike me as the very definition of Catholicism. I fear you may have been misled by the wicked propaganda of the media and certain sedevacantists into misjudging the intentions of the present Pope. As Francis has in the past, as a Cardinal, declared that Catholics should be prepared to be martyred, even unto death, over the issue of abortion, I am content to stick with him and the Church, for all his faults. Christ Himself said that one needed only to love God with all your might, and your neighbour as yourself, and that the rest would inevitably follow. If God is Love, how can anyone be honest with themself and kill their baby, or have indiscriminate sex? Francis' call may not be any more unsuccessful than his predecessors' absolutely correct condemnation of all these obscenities. I wish you Godspeed, whatever.

jonfraer
jonfraer

Sin is one thing. Denial and mocking God and jesus Christ is a double abomination. I see hom0SEXuals do all of that. Their attitude is if it doesn't agree with what I like to do, put it down and out of my life.. Throwing away god in exchange for sexual pleasure. THE GAY AGENDA is more evil then what is on the surface.. History DOES repeat and the USA is heading way of sodom and Gomorah and Rome did fall too. 

melvin
melvin

I am appalled that so many Christians are lost because of their allegiance to a corrupt church or irresponsible religion. Jesus gave strong testimony in the Book of Revelation regarding the churches' strength & pitfalls through the ages. Some of testimonies was good for the churches .... but most of them were just bad. Religion has all but destroyed Christianity. What Jesus wanted from the churches was for them  to help the mass establish FAITH in Him. Instead, the churches (most) are on a power trip to control & conquer their congregations. And if a christian has a problem finding a solid religion or church, he or she can establish a personal relationship with Jesus through faith & prayer as stated in: Revelation 1:6 and Revelation 3:20.

trlkly
trlkly

What a confusing article. Are you for or against the Church controlling your sexuality? You act like you are against it first, and go out of your way to say you agree with the Pope when he says to lighten up about it, but then you also go on and on about preaching the cross.

Discuss the actual issue: do you think the Church should condemn homosexuality? Don't hide behind Traditional language. Say what you believe. Because you can believe, as I do, that the proscription against homosexuality was never certain and is now disproven by science (and the fact that God is love), and yet still believe everything you say is true, too. Jesus didn't teach that homosexuality was wrong, and the main message of the Gospel was never about sexuality.

Sin is an action, not a way of being. If something is sinful, you can choose not to do it, yet science shows that homosexuality is not a choice. God does not punish people for being the way he made them. There is no way God is love if he designs some people to be constantly tempted into homosexual sin. There is no way that homosexuality can be sin, and yet not possible to be left at the Cross. (i.e., people can't stop being homosexual).

If that's what you believe, good. If not, then I have to say that you are as much in error as the Catholic church, if not moreso.


RockyJohnTayaban
RockyJohnTayaban

If there's one thing that your article was successful at proving, it's that the problem is not with the Catholic Church. The problem is you.

lisam7
lisam7

Bill your statement assumes that every Catholic is rotten to the core and I object to that. Some aspects of the church need to be addressed. But the church's cover up of the abuse is no different than the city of chicago's cover up of Jon Burge and his cronies. And Doug I believe the passage says it is easier for a rich man to enter the eye of a needle than the kingdom of heaven not that they could not

bill1
bill1

The catholic church is rotten to its core.

DougCheriBledsoe
DougCheriBledsoe

The Sermon on the Mount, was taught by Jesus. It was done outside. No Gothic Towers. No stained Glass. No wooden pews. It was done under a clear blue sky. Jesus preached against the large church. He went to the temple and upset their counting tables. He was against the corrupt church of his day. When he messed up the temples counting tables the Rabbis went to the Romans and had him executed by hanging on the cross like a common thief. Nothing unusual about being nailed to a cross and suffering a slow death. That was the standard of the day. 

Now we build Huge Temples, the Vatican,  in the name of a man called Jesus. Jesus said a rich man will not enter the gates of heaven. I wonder, do the rich preachers with huge churches stand a chance. Well the way I read the Bible, not a snowballs chance.

OlgaZurova
OlgaZurova

So, what Rod is saying is that he bases his religious choices on personalities, not doctrine. That's somewhat understandable, since I too would be uncomfortable putting my children under the spiritual tutelage of these leftist Father Friendlies we all know. However, the Catholic Church is the church Jesus founded, and despite the monumental flaws of its clergy and its lay adherents, He has promised to be with it always, until the end of time, and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. There's not excuse to abandon it for some better preaching. I too have some experience with a few Orthodox churches, and I've found them to have a beautiful liturgy, while being completely subordinated to the glory of their national State or the ethnic group to which they belong, while being utterly inactive and passive when it comes to evangelism and charity.

Hermione
Hermione

I am not a Catholic, but even I believe that the current Pope is one of the best things to happen to the RCC in the past 50 years.

This man wants to focus on loving people - and the point is????

As far as abortion and homosexuality is concerned, the RCC has lost it's credibility when it comes to leading/teaching on these topics.  The RCC has spent too much money and time playing politics, and covering up it's own sins and crimes, period.  Blaming gays for the crimes of pedophiles and the corrupt is just ridiculous - are people not aware of the fact that there have been many women and female children victimized as well?  And the best way to limit elective abortions is to use BIRTH CONTROL, and even the RCC endorses the practice of non-medical alternatives, which that in itself is just that - birth control  

Maybe people should spend less time complaining, and more time practicing what they are preaching. 

DeanJackson
DeanJackson

The caption reads, "I’m Still Not Going Back to the Catholic Church: Pope Francis only confirms my decision to leave"


Would that be because of Francis' bowing to murderous dictator Robert Mugabe that turned you off the Catholic Church? Or maybe Francis' telling Catholics we shouldn't "obsess" with abortion? Hmm...what would the infant Jesus say about that? Or maybe the inexplicable change in Vatican policy back in the early 1960s where pedophile priests were transferred to new parishes, where the new parish had no idea that the new priest on the block liked to play adult games with children (the old Vatican policy on pedophile priests was to ensure the offending priest was no longer in the unsupervised company of children)?


Of course, Believers in Jesus would never implement such a new priest pedophile policy, knowing that the numbers of Catholic children abused would skyrocket per offending priest. What this means is that the Vatican was co-opted by the KGB with the "election" in 1958 of Pope John XXIII; Moscow's vicious war with the Vatican payed off with the total co-option of the Vatican in 1958, just as today KGB agent Quislings that controlled the Russian Orthodox Church before the “collapse” of the USSR are still in control. They were never identified and thrown out of that institution after the “collapse” of the USSR. The same is true for all other religious institutions in the other 14 republics of the USSR, including East Bloc nations, proving not only co-option of those religious institutions, but that the "collapses" of the East Bloc and USSR were disinformation operations.


For those unfamiliar with this subject, the "collapse" of the USSR in 1991 was a strategic ruse under the “Long-Range Policy" (LRP). What is the LRP, you ask? The LRP is the "new" strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with. The last major disinformation operation under the LRP was the "collapse" of the USSR in 1991. The next major disinformation operation under the LRP will be the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government. When that occurs, Taiwan will be stymied from not joining the mainland.


Now you know the real reason Benedict resigned last February. Contrary to what Benedict said it wasn't a revelation from God that had him resign, but a directive from Moscow. You see, Benedict had too much pedophile baggage, so Moscow brought in the "breath of fresh air"...Francis. Francis' inexplicable behaviors since his ordination in March have advanced Moscow's design to weaken the Catholic Church, witness Francis' bowing to foreign potentates (Robert Mugabe and Queen Rania) and his destructive advice not to obsess over abortion or divorce!


kick
kick

Pope Francis talked about forgiveness for homosexuals obviously meaning he has no intention of becoming the first pope in Latin Church history to hold priests accountable for their crimes of raping young boys.

Francis also proclaimed that atheists will go to his fantasy version of Heaven if they are simply "good people." 

This will come as a surprise to non Christians but his added denial of belief in Jesus as the only "Door into Heaven" means that he is not a Christian. 

Francis is being celebrated by the State media, but his anti-Jesus theology will drive another hundred million Holy Spirit filled (Charismatic) Roman Catholics out of that religion into Pentecostal and Evangelical churches.

Most obvious is that Salvation in Jesus is the cure for the new & different gospel of pope Francis and every other confusion.  

betamax1978
betamax1978

@jonfraer Your homophobic HATE is a crucifixion of hate against my Saviour Jesus Christ. Repent your anti-gay hate and go SIN NO MORE. DO NOT PUT JESUS ON THE CROSS WITH YOUR HATE! I don't need to be nailed to your cross of hate as well as the rest of the LGBT community.

As Jesus said-GO SIN NO MORE!

YvesMellet
YvesMellet

@trlkly I agree that the article leaves out the sexuality issue but I disagree with your statement that homosexuality is not a sin. The Old Testament says it plainly and Jesus believe the Old Testaments is God's Word. He did not need to preach against it anymore than he needed to preach against adultery. 

joeb001
joeb001

@bill1 good thing you weren't in charge of the destruction of sodom & gamora or Lot and his family would have died.

Think before you click submit, there's over 1 billion people in the catholic church which was created by Jesus, calling it rotten to its core, you call all Christians evil which is completely wrong.

joeb001
joeb001

@DougCheriBledsoe Also, with your Anti-Art logic, Solomon would be in hell for using his talents to build a beautiful temple, David would be in hell for making songs that people repeat.

Think about it. Art and hard work are things that people do for God, you have no right to judge the soul of an other.

Priests make less than minimum wage and use all days to pray to God, and give the sacraments daily. (visiting the dying, giving baptism, reconciling people with Christ, confirming people in their faith, witnessing a couple's vows etc) Same as Paul and the apostles.

joeb001
joeb001

@DougCheriBledsoe 

If I were to use your logic, the man who used the talents to make more would go to hell for multiplying the talents:

Matthew 25:14-28

YvesMellet
YvesMellet

@OlgaZurova There's not excuse to abandon it for some better preaching??? Why? If the church you are attending doesn't feed you (spiritually), why not find one who does? If Rod wants to grow spiritually, as he does judging from the article, then the logical thing to do is to leave a church that does not make you grow for one that does.

bunchalotta
bunchalotta

@Hermione I was brought up protestant so I understand what you are saying and why you think what you think.  But I'm in the process of converting and for the first time, I've actually studied for myself what the Catholic church believes and WHY.  It has opened my eyes tremendously to the why behind birth control, abortion, homosexuality, etc. and I can honestly say, they are very straightforward and simple in their beliefs when it comes to the main issues.  No confusing messages, no ambiguity.

Hermione
Hermione

@DeanJackson 

If the Roman Catholic Church has been weakend, as you claim, then that is the fault of no other entity than the Roman Catholic Church.

Enough said.

bunchalotta
bunchalotta

@kick The Pope never said these things.  Sadly, you're the typical who listens and believes the media.  Pope Francis knows exactly what he's saying and knows that the media will pick it up, report it in a sensational manner and that sheeple will follow what they say without question using it as another excuse to bash the Catholic church.


If you read what Pope Francis actually said about any of these topics, you'll find he holds fast to what the Catholic church now and has always believed.  For instance, he didn't ever say that atheists will go to a fantasy version of heaven.  He said that Jesus died to give the gift of salvation to every living human soul, whether or not they believe in him.  The gift is there for the taking.  It is up to you to accept the gift or not.  Accept it and have eternal life in a very real heaven.  Choose not to accept it and spend eternity in hell.

Topio
Topio

@kick May I ask If you consider yourself catholic?

RalphNadolny
RalphNadolny

@kick

The pope's embracing of both atheists and homosexuals with no call to repentance is the evident token that he brings another gospel . . which is no gospel at all and certainly not Good News to those who imbibe it!   The Word of God will give them the clarity the pope's words lack: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” - God's Words / 1 Cor. 6:9-10

Catholics must not lose sight of the findings of the National Review Board, which identified the root problem of the Clergy Abuse SCANDAL as “homosexual predation of Catholic youth” by RC clerics! The board's chief, attorney Robert S. Bennett, said: “any evaluation of the causes and context of the current crisis must be cognizant of the fact that more than 80 percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.”  Another member, Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins, has said that “This behavior was homosexual predation on American Catholic youth,  yet it’s not being discussed. Yet in recent days, the pope sent a clear message that he sees no problem with "homosexual priests and/or bishops", which Roman Catholic experts conclude represents anywhere from 40-60% of the priesthood. Clearly those in the clergy and in the pews who identify themselves as “homosexuals” have found in the pope an advocate for their cause. Notwithstanding . . the pope's remarks should be cause for great alarm among Roman Catholics who do not subscribe to the “new morality”! Roman Catholics cannot afford to sit complacently in their pews while those who seek to normalize that which God calls an abomination and that which their church calls "intrinsically disordered and unnatural"  advance their agenda. Parents who are genuinely interested in the well-being & welfare of their children, as well as providing a safe & wholesome environment that both instills & mirrors the traditional family values they hold & cherish cannot remain in the RC “church”!  "Come out of her, my people that ye be not partakers of her sins." Rev. 18:4

DianeMarieKamer
DianeMarieKamer

@kick So much ignorance and bigotry...so little time.

Francis NEVER ever ever said that Jesus is not the only Door into Heaven. He never said the other stuff you claim he said, either. Please sharpen your reading-comprehension skills.

As for Pentecostalism:  I have dear Pentecostal friends (who aren't anti-Catholic like you, BTW); I've seen good sides and bad sides to Pentecostalism. When it's weird, it's really really *really* weird. It can also be VERY spiritually abusive....and, if you think it doesn't have tons of sex-abuse scandals, then you just aren't paying attention.

Pentecostalism loses a lot of its adherents, too. They say "God has no grandchildren." That's VERY true in the Pentecostal world.

Words_Byte
Words_Byte

"  BETAMAX A HEADSUP" This is a recorded message, Polly wants a cracker! "Go and Sin no more" your outraged caps lock button must have got stuck in outrage mode! Tear out all of St Paul from the New Testament and send him your inane auto mock that you have no idea of its true meaning! Squark! Squark!

Not sure why you use the quote?? Are you inferring that the act of homosexual sex is sin and being homosexual and not sexually active is actually a christian grace filled, and living the words you say Jesus said, "Go and sin no more!" If that is so, then we agree. You need to be gentler than those you accuse. If you read carefully those people are annoyed by Christianity being hijacked by a morally decaying Stars and Stripes. Which, as usual, they quickly export to pollute the rest of the world. How about putting down the wrath of the 21st Century and listen to what is actually being said. After all what is the Red Alert! Red Alert! Christian moralist coming in at 12 O'clock! Christian moralist coming in at 12 O'clock! They are words and words only and are in keeping with freedom of speech. You have a brain to formulate words as we all do. First the end of free speech to suit an agenda? Then the end of Betamax if what he says doesn't suit the agenda! Then there were none>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>THE END

betamax1978
betamax1978

@YvesMellet @trlkly Your hate is a crucifixion of hate! Don't nail Jesus to the cross with your anti-gay hate. Jesus said-GO SIN NO MORE!

joeb001
joeb001

@RalphNadolny @kick So what are you getting at? Are you saying to leave the Church because of Peter needs to be reproached by a Paul?

Galatians 2:11-21

“If, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!"

Topio
Topio

@RalphNadolny @kickTrying to tie homosexuality with pedophilia as been done before but I would like if a summary of your response if I read it correctly is 

The pope's embracing of both atheists and homosexuals... etc etc Atheists are tied together with homosexuals and homosexuals rape boys therefore homosexuals and atheists should go to hell?

Why?



RalphNadolny
RalphNadolny

DianeMarieKamer,

The pope and head of "your church" recently made the following statement:

 1) "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Citation: 1) Pope at Mass: Culture of encounter is the foundation of peace / 2013-05-22 / 12:40:02

Source: Vatican Radio / Link: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/05/22/pope_at_mass:_culture_of_encounter_is_the_foundation_of_peace/en1-694445


Words_Byte
Words_Byte

@betamax1978 @RalphNadolny Your bird seed is now ready! This is a recorded message. Repent and seed no more!! Poly Cracker verses one to four Beep! Thank you for your response it is in-SIN-cerely accepted. Please interpret to suit self. Bible with selective homophobic white out has been sent to your private address. Please create your own religion and excommunicate all foreign and alien thought patterns. There all just a pack of Naughty! Naughty boys!!

bunchalotta
bunchalotta

@RalphNadolny Yes, this is correct.  But what does redemption mean?  It means to reclaim. Before Christ died for all our sins, redemption was only possible for those who were divine (Mary, for example).  When He died for ALL of our sins, he redeemed ALL of us, giving us the chance to have everlasting life.


Salvation is accepting that chance and living your life as a follower of God.


So yes, Jesus died even for atheists.  Even for unbelievers.  Even for murderers, rapists, thieves, prostitutes, politicians, etc. etc. etc.  Everyone.  He gave everyone with a pulse a chance to be redeemed from spending eternity in hell.  But you have to accept the gift.  That's called Salvation.

joeb001
joeb001

@Topio @RalphNadolny @DianeMarieKamer You can read what he was talking about in context in 

the catechism of the catholic church paragraphs 2357 to 2359:

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual ACTS are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian PERFECTION.

Topio
Topio

@RalphNadolny @DianeMarieKamer I think I understand what JuneAnnette says but I did not hear the Christian love of the neighbor in your answer

re: Luke 10:25-29

RalphNadolny
RalphNadolny

@DianeMarieKamer

The pope's words are plain enough and do not require an interpretation. He like his Jesuit colleagues is a master of double-speak!   As to your remarks . .

While it is true only Christ's sacrifice has any saving merit, HE most certainly did not pay the price to redeem every single person on earth without exception.

The sacrifice Christ made at Calvary was for:

- His people - Matt. 1:21

- those whom the Father draws – John 6:44

- all that the Father gave him – John 6:39; 10:29

-  those ordained to eternal life – Acts 13:48

The prayer of our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ makes that abundantly clear:

“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me;” - John 17:6

“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” - John 17:9

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, . . . “ - John 17:11

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; “ - John 17:24

God makes it perfectly clear that our salvation is not based on some decision we made:

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." (John 15:16)

For many are called, but few are chosen.” - Matt. 22:14

The flawed theology of Rome that makes man his own saviour is not the Gospel of the free and sovereign grace of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ as it is revealed in Scripture!   It is both God-insulting and Christ-dishonouring!  “Salvation is of the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9)

 JuneAnnette, a Christian & Witness for Christ

 

DianeMarieKamer
DianeMarieKamer

@RalphNadolny

Um, what Pope Francis said is true. If you knew the difference between redemption and salvation, you would realize this. They are two different terms. Catholicism uses words in a theologically precise way. Please try to understand this.

On the Cross Jesus redeemed every single person on earth throughout time. He paid the price for our redemption: His Precious Blood, shed for the entire world. No exceptions.

If, through His Grace, we take advantage of this redemption, then, through His Grace, we will be saved. Some people will reject Him right up to the bitter end. They will go to Hell. Others will respond to His Grace (by His Grace). They will be saved. This is not just Catholic theology. It is the theology of millions of non-Calvinistic evangelicals as well.

As for "But do good: we will meet one another there": Um, what on earth is your objection to this? Is Francis saying that the atheist who does good has an automatic ticket to Heaven? No. He is saying that the atheist who does good has common ground, a common meeting place, with Christians: "We will meet each other there." ("There" doesn't mean Heaven. It means the place of meeting: "doing good.")

Haven't you ever collaborated with nonbelievers on a worthy project -- say, Meals on Wheels or a food or clothing drive? This is what the pope is talking about. Instead of condemning atheists, meet them where they are, collaborate with them on worthy projects...and maybe, just maybe, you can win them through your example and your love. (Cf. the Sermon on the Mount.)