Commentary

OUR SUFFERING CHURCH

We cannot allow the shameful crises that many dioceses of our Holy Mother Church are suffering at this time cause us to lose our beliefs in the truths of our faith.

The truths which we hold have been given by God, not by man. Man, therefore, cannot destroy these truths. The actions of some priests and bishops, no matter how depraved and disgraceful, will not destroy our Church.

For two thousand years the Church has been under attack, from the outside as well as the inside, and She has always survived, for we are guaranteed that the gates of Hell will never prevail. From day one of Her existence She has been under siege. She was forced into a life in the catacombs for three hundred years. Eventually, under Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, She emerged from the catacombs, and has witnessed vibrantly to the God given truths ever since.

Those priests and bishops who lead nefarious lives, in direct disobedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ, through His Church, are to be held accountable for their crimes. We need to pray for their spiritual healing and renewal.

I had a Christian Brother in high school who said: “Popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, brothers and all men, put their pants on, one leg at a time, ergo, we all sin at one time or another; not one of us is exempt.” Mankind is susceptible to the commission of sins, both venial and mortal in nature, so it naturally follows that Satan will seek out the ‘weakest link’ in his unending attempts to destroy our Faith. These men are the weakest links in the chain that binds us together in obedience to the natural law, but more importantly, to the Law of God, and the teachings of Christ.

We must not allow the actions of these men to affect our faith in the Church. A priest, even when in a state of mortal sin while celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as long as he has the proper intention, can transubstantiate a piece of bread and a cup of wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the simple words and actions given to the Church by Jesus Himself. This Blessed Sacrament is the greatest gift any man, through the actions of God, can possibly give us. All of our priests are unique in this, and should be treasured by us.

The day after Jesus gave us His Church He suffered indescribable pains while dying on the cross for our salvation. Our Church has suffered greatly in the past; pain and anguish are nothing new to Her.

During the fourth century the heresy of Arianism appeared. The two natures of Jesus were questioned. This heresy was not completely expunged for many centuries. It was called the “Wars of the Lord”, but it produced great theologians, such as St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, all great Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Teaching against the heresies resulted in the Nicene-Constantinopelan Creed, which we recite at every Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

In the ninth and tenth centuries our Church was to suffer one of the worst periods in Her history. Cardinals and bishops were appointed by civil authorities, and by election. Even the Papacy was not above this system. Popes were killed just so other men could be appointed Popes by the ruling classes. At one time there were three men claiming to be Pope. Alberic, was a good monarch and ruler, usually heeding the advice of St. Odo of Cluny, but he made one horrible decision. He asked the people of Rome to elect his son, John Octavian, as Pope at the death of the reigning Pope, Agapitus II. In 955 John XII was elected Pope by the people of Rome. He was 16 years old! The years during his reign were disgraceful. No Pope before him or after him was as immoral or evil as he was.

In 1033, Theophylact, a nephew of John XIX, was elected Pope by the Tuscalan rulers of Rome. He took the name Benedict IX. He was 10 or 11 years old! He was just as evil as John XII. He was deposed in the year 1044 and Sylvester III was elected. Benedict came back out of exile in 1055, forced Sylvester into the Sabine Hills, and reclaimed the Chair of Peter. Benedict then sold the Papacy to John Gratian who took the name of Gregory VI. Simony raised its head at the highest level of our Church!

This is the period when we had three Popes at one time, the Papacy was sold for gold, Popes killed other Popes, Popes debauched the Seat of Peter, and yet during this period the “Gates of Hell” never prevailed; no false teaching or heresy came from the Apostolic See, nor has our Church ever taught error in matters of faith or morals! As is usually the case, the Church came back stronger than ever.

The words from the book of Zechariah: 13:8, 9, “In the whole land, says the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver.”, are just as appropriate now, as they were in the 11th century.

I urgently suggest that we do not allow the actions of some of our priests and bishops, no matter how immoral or disgraceful they might be, to affect our Faith in the true Church of Jesus Christ. We should look upon our Church as being put into the ‘refiner’s fire’, so as to be purified as fine silver, as Our Lord desires it to be, and go right on fighting as hard as we can for the salvation made available to us by Jesus Christ in His suffering and dying on the Cross for us.

In my opinion, we must examine very carefully the scandal suffered by our Church in Boston, as well as many other dioceses. We must also carefully examine the wording of the media reports concerning them. The word ‘pedophilia’ is used prominently in most media releases. The dictionary lists pedophilia as the sexual assault of a child, usually, pre-pubescent. Homosexuality however, is a sexual assault on a person of the same sex as the offender. The attacks on the young boys, in high school, in seminaries, or even as altar servers, when done by a male, is the result of homosexuality, not pedophilia. Let’s face it, the media has been trying for many years to have us recognize homosexuality as an ‘alternative life style’, instead of the perversion we know it to be. In the eyes of the Church a homosexually inclined man or woman must remain chaste!

What we are dealing with here, is a problem of active homosexual priests who have been and are still infesting many dioceses. Satan has continually endeavored to destroy the Church as established by Jesus Christ. In this present time Satan is being assisted by priests who are, in many cases, being shielded and protected by our shepherds.

At the risk of being called a homophobe, I maintain that we should identify the problem in the modern day Church as homosexuality, not pedophilia, for the facts speak for themselves. Most of the reported cases did not involve young children, which would correctly be called pedophilia. They involved pubescent young men, seduced by males, and this constitutes homosexuality.

Rome has indicated, through one of the cardinals, that homosexual tendencies should eliminate a candidate for the seminary.

We have suffered through worse times than this. We, as the Church founded by Jesus Christ, will survive this test, just as we have survived all other attempts to destroy our Church.

Fred Paschall

 

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