Thursday, June 21, 2012

"The Church's Worst Enemies"

From Fr. James Schall, S.J., writing at The Catholic Thing:

The Church's Worst Enemies 

Somewhere back in the 1930s, during the Spanish Civil War, and facing other issues in Germany and Italy, Pius XI asked this very question: 'Who are the Church's most dangerous enemies?' His answer was as follows: 

'The Church's worst persecutors have been her own unfaithful bishops, priests, and religious. Opposition from outside is terrible; it gives us many martyrs. But the Church's worst enemy is her own traitors.' 

Why is this, we wonder? The mission of the Church ad extra has much to do with the witness to the truth by Christians themselves, especially those in high places, both clergy and laity. 

In an analogous manner, John Paul II remarked to European bishops in 1982 that 'the crises of European man and of Europe are crises and temptations of Christianity and of the Church in Europe.' We are wont to think that the drama of the world takes place outside of the redemptive plan of God. It doesn't. 

C. S. Lewis remarked, in Mere Christianity, I think, that the greatest evil we can do is to call what is evil good and what is good evil. It does not matter whether this calling is shrouded in the form of relativism, diversity theory, or the will to power. The effect is the same. 

In the end, we now call, by various sophisticated names, what is evil good. We make laws to justify this reversal of good and evil, which, as such, do not change. We penalize those who hold that the 'thou shalt not's' are correct. ... 

But the key point remains: the "enablers" who justify and make evil possible by their own disordered souls. Repentance remains the only way to stop this reversal, repentance and, as Benedict says, judgment. ... 

When asked why he entered the Church, Chesterton, in a famous passage, replied: 'To get rid of my sins.' 

The New Testament also makes it clear that this riddance of sins is the central purpose of redemption. Christ did not come so much to define what sins were — we have to be pretty obtuse not to have an inkling of what they are — but to forgive them."


1 comment:

therese said...

thank you so much for this reminder. often those within the church, the clergy who we the people look to to lead us have unfortunately let us down. by not challenging us ,or by at times they themselves believeing evil to be good. by promoting a liberal agenda- in the false cover of 'compassion, and being pastoral".
be it the so called catholic ministries like 'Fortunate families' which actually promote homsexuality and disagree publicly which the churchteachings on so called same sex marriage, groups which do not encourage chastity but instead expect the church to change its truths to accomadate current secular ideas. Or be it the clergy who advocate divorce and remarriage/and annulment to those spouses who find themselves 'dissoulutioned" and listening to secular societys ideas about marriage being all about ones own "happiness" and not a life long union that Requires work and sacrifice.
pray for our bishops to instead support loyal to magesterium ministries like Courage/Encourage for those who struggle with same sex attraction. And also that our clergy will support and encourage married couples to remain faithful to their sacrament and be a witness of fidelity and true love in a selfish, me-centered culture.