The Glorious Shame of The Catholic Church
There are two levels of reality in today’s Catholic Church. There is the level of magisterial teaching and the level of ordinary parish life (not all parishes by a long shot, but still way too many). From the first level we learn that there are serious sins: premarital sex, adultery, abortion, homosexual behavior, etc. But at the second level we hear nothing about any of that.
Why not? Some pastors do believe what the Church teaches, but are afraid to preach it. They’re garden-variety cowards. But there are other pastors who don’t teach it because they don’t believe it. And because they don’t believe it, they don’t adhere to it in their personal lives. They live sinfully duplicitous lives. And now the truth is coming out.
Contrast this situation with that of the Episcopal Church over the past 40 or so years. The Episcopal Church once taught high moral standards too. And many of their priests didn’t adhere to them either. In Episcopalian circles there have been lots of stories about pedophile priests, actively homosexual priests, etc. But these stories didn’t hit the headlines of newspapers, didn’t make the covers of the news magazines, didn’t get featured on TV. No one blew the whistle.
Why the difference? Before you point to the media, consider how in the Old Testament, when Israel fell into idolatry and unrighteousness, the Lord punished her. The Catholic Church is the New Israel, the one true Church. The Lord will simply not let her go her own way. Remember the words of Hebrews 12:5-8,11: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD…. For whom the LORD loves He chastens…. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening…then you are illegitimate and not sons…. Chastening seems…grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness….”
The Episcopal Church is not the one true Church (and has never claimed to be). The Lord has simply let that church go her gay and goofy way.
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No temporal or civilizational events can override the sacramental necessity of the Catholic priesthood’s being reserved to men.
Fr. Neuhaus thinks the whole priest scandal thing can just be brushed off.
Forget the scandals? (Uh, not so fast, pal!)