Monday, August 08, 2011
Faith and Ignorance
Archbishop Dolan has blogged about secular journalists speaking about the beliefs of Catholics as Vatican or the Pope's "policies", at its root of course is that dissenting Catholics are often giving a higher profile in the secular media, and even in the Church than Catholics - by Catholic I mean those who actually believe the Catholic faith.
The problem is that in many places the faith is not taught, the young lapse through sheer ignorance, heretics and heresies are given preference over Catholics and Catholicism, dissent is treated as the norm, dioceses and national Churches invariably make up their own version of the faith and it is presented as the Truth and Catholicism itself as somehow being dissent or aberration.
No wonder the Pope told our bishops at the Ad Limina visit, "
Peter begins to drown when he takes his eyes off Christ, when he looks round sees the raging sea and mistrusts the faith that enables him to walk to Jesus over the water. It is only in his panic, when he is drowning and he cries out, "Save me, Lord", that he finds himself safe in the Lord's arms. Doubting, he dies, beliving he is saved.
The disciples in the boat, which is meant to be an imae of the Church, seeing Peter's faith and Jesus' power, recognise Jesus, who they had previously described as a ghost, now recognise him as the Son of God. This recognition happens in the Church, the barque of Peter. Those in the boat are the community of Faith.
We are given Faith as free gift by the Spirit of God. The sin against the Holy Spirit is anything which destroys or damages Faith, for it is the Holy Spirit which enables us to cry, "Abba, Father".
As Christians we have a duty to build up our Faith and the Faith of others. Faith can so easily be destroyed. Mortal Sin destroys it but so too does ignorance. St Paul tells that we should always have an answer ready for those who question us. As Catholics we should be able to explain what the Chuch, Christ, teaches about the Trinity, the Incanation, the Immaculate Conception, the Divine origins of Church, the Sacredness of Life from conception to natural death, why and what the Church teaches about sex and sexuality etc etc.
Vatican II teaches the Church is missionary by its very nature: why is it that almost 50 years on most Catholics are so ignorant of their faith, incapable of sustaining it in their hearts or building it up in others? Why is it that dessent is still tolerated? Yes, why is that dissenting newspapers are tolerated at the back of Catholic Cathedrals? Dissent sews confusion, it is no healthy theological speculation, it damages faith, it makes faith untrustworthy. Faith is necessary for salvation.
Maybe we need to take a leaf out Dr Martin's book and start talking about heresy, because heresy and heretics are the destroyers of faith, and should be opposed by the full force of magisterial intolerance!
Posted by Fr Ray Blake