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Catholic
 

COMMENTARY

 

CATHOLICISM PREDICAMENT

 

By

Ted J. Albrecht

January 1, 2003

The Catholic Church has been hijacked by ‘feel good’ collectivists, who have replaced individual responsibility with Hillary’s “It Takes A Village” responsibility, so that individuals no longer realize that it is their actions that are the cause for good or evil in the world.

When things go wrong, people now engage lawyers/psychiatrists to obfuscate the truth and/or figure out how to blame someone else.

This commentary is organized as follows:

REALITY

DIVERGENCE

CONSEQUENCES

REMEDY


 

-REALITY-

 There is a hierarchy to the ‘real world’, outlined as follows:

CREATOR: Heaven...Purgatory...Hell

UNIVERSE: Milky Way...Sun...Earth

PERSON: Immediate family...Relatives...River Of Life

FRIENDS: Neighbors...Co-workers...Community

The intent here is to put the above in sequence regarding importance and hopefully influence the Church to replace its current emphasis on teaching, preaching and supporting the collectivist community agenda with a more entrepreneurial approach.

Religious/faith awakening is a deeply individual/personal experience, not a community happening. The community may or may not be a catalyst, but ultimately it is the Creator touching the individual. Therefore to bring faith about, and encourage its growth, the Church needs to provide spiritual and intellectual enlightenment which helps prepare the individual prepare for the Creator’s invitation. And to make individuals realize that they are responsible for their actions, ensuing consequences and destiny.

This does not mean that helping others is not helpful regarding spiritual growth. Rather, it is NOT the core requirement to accept and live the life of a faithful believer. So the Church needs to get back to the ‘real world’ perspective, putting their imprimatur upon the importance of individuals to take charge/responsibility for their choices.

 

-DIVERGENCE-

 

The Church has been deluded by the “Social Justice” agenda, which attempts to aid the disadvantaged via lobbying the government to right all wrongs. Thus, they have joined the ‘special interest’ crowd thinking it can legislate (impose) its “Christian” morality upon all citizens.

This divergence from focusing on the individual has caused the Church to abandon the moral high ground. There has been a gradual drifting away since the depression. Then the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision ignited passions so that the Church is now reduced to groveling for votes to protect the unborn via legislative redress, as well as the other “Social Justice” issues.

By trying to use the power of government to force people to do the ‘right thing’, you lose the opportunity to educate and motivate the individual to properly utilize their free will. Individual conscience must be enlightened, not free will trampled upon via government edict.

LAWS ARE NECESSARY, but the more you pass, the more they will be broken. It is far better to establish a set of moral guidelines that enables acceptable alternatives, rather than rigid law. Living is the testing time. The Church needs to strengthen individual moral and ethical values so they can freely make the choices that ensure their heavenly destiny.


 

-CONSEQUENCES-

Currently the Church is suffering from crisis which is directly related to its putting so much energy into the ‘social justice’ effort and leaving individuals searching for moral and ethical direction.

FIRST is the inability to attract men and women to the religious life. The key here is to plant the spiritual seed (impeccable religious youth leaders) in the young so that it blossoms when nurtured with clear intelligent moral logic, which enables the Creator's invitation to be understood and accepted. Instead what is happening is that so much attention is focused upon “feel good” emotional community fuzzes that the young are not prepared/motivated to accept the Creator's calling.

The “calling” must be put back on the highest pedestal, so the allure of our rich and enticing life alternatives can be put in proper perspective. Parents must be motivated (intelligent homilies) to value/respect the religious life and guide their children to be attentive to the Creator's calling.

SECOND is the loss of the young, who are drifting away due to the lack of a solid moral attraction. The young are very impressionable and are lured by: Hollywood’s demoralizing entertainment; the liberal public education systems humanistic (Godless) emphasis; the many time consuming extra curricular activities; and other religions that ARE emphasizing zealot fundamentalism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    emphasis;  THIRD is the small family size and many single persons cohabitating rather than getting married. Enticing careers for both men and women along with alluring life styles is crowding out the family, especially taking on the responsibility of raising children. Those that do get married tend to have one or two children and encourage them to go to college, where they are sometimes influenced to ignore and/or distrust organized religion.

FOURTH is the loss of moral credibility due to the failure of the Church hierarchy to immediately prosecute priests who sexually abuse youths and vulnerable women. I personally believe that this lapse was caused by fuzzy collectivism which is so prevalent in the teaching profession. This includes religious seminaries.

Freud began the slide into “Materialism” and the elite education establishment enthusiastically adopted it so it could avoid teaching morality. Their emphasis is on the three R’s and leaves the teaching of right and wrong to the family and religious ministries. The problem is that students also need a moral code in order to function properly within the school environment. Non Catholics get very little, primarily parents, and Catholics get CCC volunteers for this critical understanding.

So by the time a young adult gets out of high school, they are often weak on understanding morality and making good moral based decisions. 

FIFTH is one more area that seems to confound the Church. That is the Muslim religion. In trying to be politically correct, open minded, accepting, non judgmental, and tolerant, it has failed to vociferously confront the Muslim religious and civil leaders regarding their failure to condemn the jihadist terrorists, as well as their treatment of women and non-Muslim believers.

This lack of fortitude has emboldened Muslim leaders to keep pushing their beliefs to replace other cultures. They are not satisfied with being accepted, they want to dominate. This zealousness is at the heart of most of the conflicts worldwide.

 

--REMEDY--

What follows is not meant to be the only answer to my above perceived dilemma. Rather it is my current thinking which I hope will stimulate others to acknowledge/expand upon the dilemma and offer their insights on possible solutions.

In order to fully explain exactly what I see as the Church's best approach to recover from the collectivist dilemma it is currently experiencing, I must establish why GOD has created humanity.

The Catholic Catechism states the reasons as: to know Him; to love Him; to serve Him and to spend eternity with Him. After a great deal of reading, prayer and thinking I have come to a more profound, yet simpler reason for our existence and purpose.

That GOD wants to:

Share The Joy Of Being

and

For humanity to join Him in Sharing The Joy Of Being.

This does not negate the Catholic Catechism's reasons for our existence: to know Him is to experience the joy of being; to love Him is to be thankful for the joy of being; to serve Him is for humanity to share the joy of being; and to spend eternity with Him is to join the Trinity, parents, grandparents and our great 'Rivers Of Life' (previous generations) that brought us into existence.

I think experiencing and being thankful for the joy of being are easily understood. Whereas to share the joy of being needs explaining. Certainly one can grasp that our children are most certainly sharing the joy of being. As well as our co-creator role. Humanity creates the physical being and GOD infuses the soul. But what about those who do not propagate, for whatever reason. I feel strongly that our work/service for others, when done with the right attitude, is also sharing the joy of being. Especially when a new service or technology benefits the mentally and physically handicapped. Also by our joyful example we can motivate others to join in sharing the joy of being.

Now I need to state GOD'S three greatest gifts in order for humanity to join in sharing the joy of being: our universe; our existence; and free will. Certainly GOD gives us many more gifts. But I needed to state these three in order to address what the Church needs to do to get out of its current collectivist dilemma.

First and foremost, the Church must be the champion of political, economical and religious freedom, as well as the rule of democratic law. The Church can not cohabitate with tyranny. Better the Church go underground and/or engage martyrdom. The Church's structure: Pope; Cardinals; Bishops; Priests; and Laity, all united in Christ and present everywhere, can and should engage tyrants with all of its moral arsenal. Just as martyrs faced the lions, so we need to be martyrs in challenging the tyrants. Without freedom, it becomes very difficult to fully exercise free will and share the joy of being. When daily life is filled with fear and struggle to survive, then joy is very hard to achieve. Yes, inner joy is possible, but only via heroic effort.

The Church needs to re-evaluate its current social justice approach, which is rooted in collectivism (intrusive government), and fully investigate the entrepreneurial approach: emphasizing self-reliance; taking full responsibility for ones actions; and being willing to risk time, talent and treasury to establish a successful enterprise that enriches self, workers and customers/clients. In essence..YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT BY HELPING OTHERS GET WHAT THEY WANT. Thus by helping others, you are sharing the joy of being, not confiscating everyone's income via taxes.

Collectivism whether forced by a tyrant or government edict is based upon conscripting everybody's time, talent and treasury to do what it considers best/safest for everyone. The problem is that this saps freedom, creativity and the human spirit. In essence, the incentive to reach one's potential and share the joy of being is replaced by apathy and a "wait and see" attitude, expecting someone else will get it done.

When the Church asserts its moral authority, it will take the high ground drawing the best to its freedom efforts. By adopting the entrepreneurial approach, clearly stating GOD'S co-creative role for humanity and sharing the joy of being concept, this will re-energize current Catholics and serve as a magnet to pull in converts. Also igniting a surge in religious vocations.

There is one more aspect regarding humanity's  relationship with GOD. That being the possibility of being "co-redeemers" with and through Jesus to the Father. Is it possible that  Jesus's passion and death upon the cross was for humanity's sins against the Father?...The first four, of ten, commandments:

I. Honor the Lord thy GOD. Thou shall not have other gods before ME.

II. Thou shall not bow down to idols.

III. Thou shall not misuse GOD'S name.

IV. Keep holy the Sabbath.

The other six, of ten, are commandments regarding sins of humanity against humanity:

V. Honor your Mother and Father.

VI. Thou shall not commit murder.

VII. Thou shall not steal.

VIII. Thou shall not commit adultery.

IX. Thou shall not lie.

X. Thou shall not covet your neighbor's wealth.

Justice requires that these transgressions be forgiven by humanity, since they were committed against humanity (and if not by humanity, then Purgatory/Hell). How exactly can this be accomplished? Maybe by each person, with a smile on their face and joy in their heart, offering up physical and mental pain to the Father through Jesus, ergo "co-redeemers".

I am not saying that is so ... Just suggesting that this could be a better reason why pain is such an integral part of humanity's existence. It is humanity's opportunity to the extent of their limited ability to be as God like as possible.

"CO CREATORS"

"CO REDEEMERS"

and

"CO SHARERS OF THE JOY OF BEING"

Regarding the Muslim religion, I'd suggest the Church commission a joint study group of all religions to go through the Koran chapter and verse and point out those areas that negate free will. And challenge Muslim leaders to re-examine their faith and make changes or be advised that their acceptance by the rest of society be limited to the same extent that they accept other cultures.

Following are excerpts from various publications which I hope will stimulate a dialogue, pro and con, regarding this commentary.

 

 

Last Updated: Sunday, April 10, 2005
©Ted J. Albrecht 651-735-4356 Email:
Tjalbrecht@cs.com


©Ted J. Albrecht 651-735-4356 Email: Tjalbrecht@cs.com