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How NOT to Fix the Church

I read an article the other day; for the sake of proper manners (and also to protect the guilty) I will not mention the name of the author. He is a clergyman somewhere in America, and seems to be popular in some circles. I will admit, he has said some good things -- he is not a complete heretic (as some other clergymen in the Church) -- but that does not justify this article.

He was dealing with the current problem of dwindling attendance at Catholic Churches and gave some advice as to how to turn the tide. I will summarize his points (trying to be as fair as possible).

1. Invite a lapsed Catholic back to Church

2. Pray for the Church

3. Encourage non-Catholics to consider the faith

4. Be nice

All of these are good things, but they are not going to turn the tide. First, if the Church is still in disarray and the Mass is performed with disrespect for the rubrics, then bringing someone into it is not going to help the Church (or them!). The house is not less likely to burn down if there are 10 more people standing around staring at the flames. Second, we can be nice all day long, but smiles do not revive faith. Finally, prayer is powerful, yes, but what is being prayed for? If you are only praying for God to fix this, then we have forgotten our part in this. We caused it, so it is up to us to repent in order to change it. We cannot keep doing the same things that are driving people away from Christ and expect it to work out OK this time.

If Catholics want to revive the Church then we need to have a reverent Mass. We need to have Bishops exemplifying submission to the rules and not looking sideways at our problems. We need priests to exemplify living in awe and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. We need all clergy to believe what God says and obey what they are told to do. We need a number of good book burnings, quite a few excommunications, and the truth spoken in homilies every day (without apology).

Decorating the house and having someone over for dinner will not restore the family if they are all sick. Only by getting rid of the sickness will we find a true restoration. That sickness of which I speak is the widespread contempt of the things of God and His commands. Treating the Divine Lord as a casual buddy has borne rotten fruit and that needs to change. If we want to strengthen the Church then we need to stop honoring the world, and start honoring the God Who created (and will someday judge) the world!


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