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Are "All" Really Welcome?

Someone recently asked me whether the Church accepts everyone or not. I made it clear that this cannot be answered without qualifications, since the phrase "accepts everyone" is subject to multiple interpretations.


If by "accept everyone" we mean: allow someone to join the Church and never be given the admonition to repent of their sins, then the answer is a clear and resounding "no". That would be to lead someone to Hell; quite contrary to the Church's mission to save souls.


If by "accept everyone" we mean: make no distinction in people who are fully repenting of their sins and allow them to join the Church, then the answer is a clear and resounding "yes". This is what it means to evangelize; anything less is evil.


Those within the Church who wish to find a new way to "accept" certain sins (adultery, sodomy, etc.) and remove the call to penitence are not pursuing mercy. Whether they realize it or not they are pursuing a satanic lie. This is the lie that ignores the fact that Jesus often said that those who refuse to repent and obey Him will be cast into eternal Hell.


There are also those who want to join the Church (because it helps to soothe their conscience) but never want to change their behavior. Maybe they appear to like the Church at first, but give it enough time and when their "pet sin" is attacked and they refuse to repent, then they will bail on Christ and His Church and find a new place to lick their wounds.


I like to tell people that in the Catholic it is a lie to say (or to sing!) "all are welcome". All are not truly welcome in the Catholic Church; all who are willing to live a life of penitence are welcome. The rest, Jesus will tell, "I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers." (Matthew 7:23). We would be wise to follow what He says on this issue.

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