Thursday, March 5, 2009
The work of Jesus Christ was left to the Apostles and the "deposit of faith" has been safeguarded throughout the ages by the Church. Who is the Church, you may ask? There is the hierarchy, the Papacy, etc. through which exists the living magisterium, which is the teaching authority. There are those in the religious life, ordained and non-ordained, and there is the laity. The critics of Christianity come in several categories. here are the major ones: the atheists and those who find a problem with God. Many blame God for the problems of the world, are angry and hostile that He (in the form of organized religion) would put restrictions on their lifestyles by His commandments. They treat God as though He is a head of state. They miniaturize Him, yet they still have expectations that He is suppose to do this or that. If God is that insignificant or doesn't exist why spend so much time, energy and anger on Him? The next class find a problem with the Church itself. They don't desire to be subservient to any organization that restricts them or tells them the way to behave. They also reject tradition and ceremony as antiquated and foolish. They see Christians as weirdos infringing on their world. Their problem is that they do not understand that virtues and morality are the means to happiness. The final group are those that reject the Church on the basis of wrongs committed throughout the ages by its members. They point to the Inquisition, Galileo, and recently the sex scandals, and clergy who have said or done stupid things. Many of these people are ex-Catholics who use those things as an excuse for the real anger which falls into the two prior categories. In many cases one can rationalize that their anger is understandable (especially for victims) for there have been those who have failed miserably in their duties as clergy and have violated the the trust of their parishioners. The problem is that two fold. The Truth of Jesus Christ cannot be rejected because of those who fail as human beings to live it. That logic would cause one to reject every single organization on this planet; police officers have raped, politicians stolen money or failed to pay taxes, soldiers who have murdered, scientists have lied fudging research data, corporate CEOs have taken from shareholders. There have been sex abusers from every walk of life. Logic would tell us that we don't reject the ideals and principles of an organization because some of it's people are bad. The second part is that morality and virtues are necessary for salvation. If you reject those things - and you reject the Truth of Jesus Christ then you have no hope of eternal life. A tragic price to pay because of an individual's failure to be morally righteous.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 6:44 AM