Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Firm Resolve

By: Ed

Indeed, Pope John Paul II has met the Heavenly Father. Catholics, including myself, mourn the loss of a great leader, but rejoice that this loyal servant of God Almighty has been called home. I would ask all to pray that, whatever your personal beliefs are, the next Pope will be who God wills the seat of Peter to be taken by. Let not our will, the clergy's will or even the Cardinal's will be done, but rather God's. This should be our utmost desire.

If the readers of this post would indulge me though, I would like to share what I believe is necessary for the Church in the future and the next Pope. I have my own beliefs on this, but again, if I am wrong I pray God's will and not mine be done.

So many have commented on this Popes life on the news. He played an integral part in stopping destructive communism in Europe. He preached the Word of God when he was still a priest and had threats made on his life. Numerous accounts of his generosity, piety and kindness have been told and yet people still maintain his teachings are outdated. The Church flurished under his leadership and God's work through him. If we are to believe scripture and "judge them by their works" how could we not trust that this man is a great teacher sent by God?

I noticed in Michael's post some teachings I want to comment on. First of all, yes! The Church needs some big changes. Most, however, have to do with education. Every Catholic should know what as well as why we believe (at least) the basic and essential articles of the faith. There are many Catholics who don't even know there is a book (The Catechism of the Catholic Church) that explains all of our teachings. I simple flip through an index and the scriptural basis for everything is revealved if they would but look.

Above all, we should stay rooted in our tradition. Birth control is a prime example. I find it amusing that people claim the Church's teaching against birth control fuels STD's, Abortions and unwed mothers. The Church also teaches fornication and adultery are wrong and these actions are what really spread STD's, increase the desire for an abotion to "erase" the mistake so nobody knows, and lead to unwed mothers. Its funny how the Church is responsible for people who pick and choose its teachings for their own selfish desires. I also find it amazing that these people can think that those suffering from the previously stated conditions don't have the will enough to say no to sexual temptation, but can say "wait, the Church doesn't believe in contraceptives so we shouldn't wear a condom." The truth is, if everyone abided by the Church's teaching, there would be no STD's. So, to all who are afflicted and blame the Church's stance against contraceptives I say "stop having sex!!"

That is what we should be working towards; sex only within a committed marriage. Contraceptives only lead to more sex and thus more problems. They take an immoral action and remove the consequneces. Then, when things do go wrong, the person who said none of it should be going on is blamed. Besides this point, contraceptives make sex only about the "good feeling" . It becomes only about self satisfaction instead of an act of love within marriage.

Interestingly enough, American's have over a 50% divorce rate. Couples (Catholics and non-Catholics) who use Natural Family Planning have under a 3 percent divorce rate. Again, "judge them by their fruits."

An interesting essay from the Vatican about the ordination of female priests is called Inter Insigniores . Basically, it reaffirms the teaching that only men can be ordained. This is due to tradition, but also because a female priest would be a breach of the matter of the sacrament. For those who don't know, Sacraments must have the correct form and matter. Baptism for example can't be done with sand. God didn't say "Amen Amen I say to you, he who is not orn again of sand and spirit shall not inherit the Earth". He said water. It is not in the Church's authority to change Christ's wishes. Likewise, a Priest stands in place of Christ (in the physical sense) so that Christ can work through Him in the sacraments. Christ also only chose males (and in turn those males only chose males according to His example) to be Priests and stand in the place of Jesus who fulfills the role of the new Adam. So, Priests must be men. Now remember, this doesn't mean Priests are better or higher in dignity than a nun. They simply fulfill a different role.

I think that is everything and I hope this clarifies some issues. Again, I believe we need more focus on education Catholics should (at least the majority) be the most knowledgeable people on Earth of their faith. We need a strong Pope who is pius and stands firm with Church teaching.