Friday, April 15, 2011

Do Catholics Still Get It?

Let me preface this post by saying that I have only attended a Non-Catholic worship service four times in my life two weddings and two funerals. So keep that in mind as you read.

I recently linked to a story about Archbishop Sheehan's pastoral letter concerning cohabitation. In it he urges his flock to consider the gravity of sin. Respectfully, Excellency, perhaps it is because for too long the clergy have been: afraid, cowed, bullied, or abused by: parishioners, governments, media, fellow clergy, for preaching on the gravity of sin that has gotten us into this mess.

Now mind you my only point of reference to Protestant preaching stems from Hollywood, but they sure seem to have the Hellfire and Brimstone down, don't they. John Lithgow in Footloose, railing against dancing, rock music and drugs. Tom Skerrit's quiet, homespun, frontier-fisherman preacher in A River Runs Through It, teaching his sons all about the evils of the world outside their Montana homefront.

Now, Catholics on the other hand, are treated to mostly mealy-mouthed, watered down, sometimes outright heretical homilies on a weekly basis. Occasionally we get good homilies but most of the time if it's good it has little to do with doctrine or a call to avoid sin and more to do with a good explanation of the culture or history in question.

However, this was one thing that Fr. John Corapi is quite good at. I know he has been involved in a bit of a scandal lately but his lecture/sermon on giving a good confession should be required viewing for all who hold and teach the Catholic faith.

At the recent mission for my parish, St. Mary's, we had a brilliant priest from the Fathers of Mercy who spent the mission talking of the need for healing, especially spiritual. He was quite good and his discussion, seemingly tangentially touched on the need for understanding the damages of sin. In reality he spent his whole time teaching about the damage of sin.

After all why else would we need healing were it not for the effects of sin. But rarely do we see any real meaty discussions on the topic during a weekly homily. In fact Fr. Crotty, who led the mission told us of a priest he knew who had been stripped of his duties for merely mentioning the potential damage from Harry Potter.

So if those are the kind of things Catholic clergy are up against in warning of the dangers of sin, then of course they will shy away from it. It seems to me that good homilies were one of the cruelest victims of the curse of Vatican II. Priests began to turn to pop psychology and other things as part of their teaching and increasingly left the Truth behind.

Forgetting Hellfire and Brimstone when was the last time you heard a homily about Jesus. Not just one that mentioned him but one that really delved into the Incarnate Word and showed you a new way of thinking.

As the Church has become scandalized by errant priests and politicians who profess Catholicism with their mouths to win votes, only to avoid it in their own voting record, and a media that turns every minor Catholic slip into a massive crisis, the people are led further away from Truth.

The liberal wing of the Catholic Church would love to remake Holy Mother Church in their own image, fortunately we have had two amazing popes that have done all they can to stem that tide. One of these two men will be beatified in about two weeks time.

Unfortunately their hard work hasn't flowed downhill quite the way it should. But alas, we carry on and we defend Her.

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