Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Baptized Pagans"

How could so many Catholics vote for Barack Obama, a man who voted twice to permit infanticide?

Here's a great post and comment by Mark Brumley over at "Ignatius Insight:"

"Part of the problem is that while we now have some bishops willing to speak out in a clear and forceful fashion, we have a generation of churchgoing Catholics--I'm talking about the churchgoers now, not the Catholics in name only--who are clueless about their faith and who have little judgment about how to apply it to the world around them. They go along to get along. These are people who may not have been evangelized, and so they are sacramentalized pagans. These are people who have not been catachesized so they are spiritual babies having to confront issues that require a mature faith.

We need to make the most of this situation and do what we can to change things. Bishops will have to step up the plate. Priests will, too. And religious. And lay leaders. It is going to take an honest appraisal of the problem. No more happy talk about the Church in the U.S. Yes, we have a priest shortage. You want to know why? Because we have a Christian shortage and a Catholic shortage among Catholics. That's the unvarnished truth. The baptized pagans who occupy so much pew space in our churches have to be converted to Christianity. The liberal-Protestantish Catholicism-lite that substitutes for Catholicism has to be converted to real Catholicism. The bishops have to stop kidding themselves. And they have to be willing to take on their brother bishops when they're part of the problem and they have to be willing to confront their clergy when they are part of the problem.

There is more to be said but this will do for now. Let's all look at our own situation and ask ourselves what needs to be done in our own lives. That may require prayer and sacrifice on our part. It may involve having to confront others--charitably and lovingly, of course. It should get us involved more, if we're not already, in parish life."

Emphasis added.

4 comments:

Terrence said...

Fr. Malloy,

That's a great post, "Baptized Pagans." I find it ironic how so many people can go to mass every Sunday and not have a basic Catholic moral compass, which tells them why homosexuality is bad, why abortion is bad, and see the real agenda behind these groups which claim to be defending civil rights. They try to say that any group that says there are limitations to what people should be able to do are trying to impose a theocracy, but what about their pagan theocracy which seeks to censor and silence their opponents?

The reality is, people need to have real character. This moral crisis comes from a lack of leadership, because fathers and teachers are afraid to take the moral reigns and teach right from wrong, with the fear of being labeled "old-fashioned" or "reactionary." This is why people look to empty celebrities and celebrity candidates as role models, and why people who should be standing up for basic moral principles in their campaigns, avoid those issues: it's about being popular, not standing up for the truth. The most important thing for the Church is that it is very clear not just in its official teachings found in the catechism, but also from the pulpit and in the Catholic schools. How glad I am to live in a part of the country where we say, "It is right to give Him thanks and praise," and not the censored, feminist version, "It is right to give 'God' thanks and praise," as if we should say an "Our God," not an Our Father. I think martyrdom is more about not trying so hard to fit in and having the courage to be marginalized for our beliefs, not just the final consequence of being burned at a stake. We don't realize how many people we influence when we stand up for what we believe in, even if they mock us, because one day they will have the opportunity to reflect and who knows if the Holy Spirit will transform them. That's why we need to increase our faith and realize that when we ask for hope, we are asking the Holy Spirt to give us the conviction to act out on our faith. Only when we have the right teaching of the faith and the hope or spiritual courage to stand up for what we believe in, can we really love our neighbor and bring "the change we need."

Anonymous said...

I see the Catholic Church in the US headed toward schism. There are really two churches under one umbrella: (1) traditional, faithful catholics, and (2) those who favor religion "lite." The US Church may eventually go the way of Anglicanism.

Terry Carroll said...

That was a GREAT post, but did you get an "early" version Mark's comments that he later replaced with a less "indignant" one? The link within your post links to a considerably milder response with a lot of very interesting comments. I wanted to link to Mark's remarks directly in my own blog, but can't find the one you used. I prefer the version YOU quoted to the one that's out there now!

We NEED to hear terms like "baptized pagans" more often, and call all in positions of church leadership to accountability for the lack of catechesis that is resposible for the mess we are experiencing.

"Catholic-Lite" has a stranglehold on the American Catholic Church. It's hard to fix when leaders don't seem aware or concerned about the problem.

I won't be surprised if a previous comment isn't correct: there's more than the potential for schism within the American Catholic Church which, I thought, was Roman Catholic.

Catholic support for Obama is only a symptom. The problem is much deeper than that. Fortunately, we know that "the gates of Hell shall not prevail" no matter how things look. We have to know and trust that God is even more concerned about this than the most fervent among us. We may not see the victory, but we know the battle is being won.

Anonymous said...

Terry,

Our Post is Mark's comment at 6:55 AM on November 5, which was a response to other comments on his original post.

Gibbons in SF