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Help My Kids Still Aren’t Catholic!!

An earlier post this week with a similar title evoked the most passionate comments I’ve had on a post for a long time. I suggested that one of the reasons why Catholic kids leave the church is that our catechism and worship styles and preaching for the past fifty years did not prepare them for the rigors and demands of a fully Catholic life. I would like to add to that.

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Joseph D'Hippolito said...

From Fr. Longenecker's post:

The reason I am a committed Christian and a passionate Catholic today is because I grew up with people who really believed the old, old story of mankind’s fall from grace and God’s saving sacrifice. My parents not only took us to church. They lived a life of sacrifice. My Dad–with five kids and a failing business–gave 15% of his income to the church and we knew it and were proud of his action. We met missionaries who gave their lives to go and live in the jungle with their families to bring the gospel to aboriginal tribes living in fear and darkness. We met refugees from Russia who had been imprisoned for their faith and escaped with nothing but the shirt on their back and had set up missions to smuggle Bibles into communist lands.

Interestingly, none of those attitudes or actions can be associated with Catholicism. They are, however, associated with evangelical Protestantism. Fr. Longenecker never mentions in the post that he grew up as a Pentecostal before becoming a Catholic as an adult.

Do you really want to know why people leave the "One True Church"? Well, Fr. Longenecker mocks the evangelical style of worship but what he refuses to acknowledge is that evangelical churches do a far better job of meeting people's legitimate spiritual and emotional needs. For far too long, Catholicism has hidden behind the things that Fr. Longenecker takes pride in: "Eucharistic adoration, the real presence of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the altar, the apostolic authority, the papacy, the church fathers, the communion of the saints, images of saints, pilgrimages..." To people who are truly hurting, such things are irrelevant.

Catholicism has become too intellectual for its own good, let alone anybody else's.

I went to priests for personal counseling and found them incapable of understanding, let alone empathizing, with my problems. One priest even went so far as to berate me for weeping profusely after returning from the cemetery where I just buried my mother, who died of cancer. This was the same man who said my mother's funeral Mass only hours earlier.

I sent an e-mail to the man the next day, in which I told him that I would no longer attend his church as long as he was pastor, and that he was dead to me.

But that incident isn't why I left the Catholic Church. I left because the leadership doesn't believe what it claims to believe. JPII arbitrarily changes centuries of teaching on capital punishment for murder and gets a pass. Cdl. Wuerl refuses to obey Canon 915 and gets a pass from Rome. The president of the German bishops' conference effectively denies the doctrine of propitiation and gets a pass from Pope Benedict, a supposed theological stickler.

The institutional response to the clerical sex-abuse crisis -- which, despite the propaganda from some apologists, is at least a thousand years old (do an Internet search on St. Peter Damian and "The Book of Gomorrah") -- demonstrated what the Catholic leadership truly values...and it's certainly not basic morality.

In short, the Catholic Church long ago forgot about Christ and put itself in Christ's place. Don't believe me? Well, ask yourselves how many Catholics view the institutionalized church as the ultimate arbiter between the believer and Christ.

As I've mentioned numerous times, the Catholic Church sacrificed its spiritual patrimony on the altars of wealth, political power, prestige, secular influence, elitist status, monarchist trappings, arcane intellectualism and institutional arrogance. It's not the only church to have done so, of course; mainline Protestantism is filled with such churches. But for a church that claims to represent "the fullness of the Gospel" to behave the way it does is an abomination to a holy, righteous God Who is not amused when people who claim authority in His name misuse it for selfish purposes.

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