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    Current rating: 4.7 (81 ratings)

    Fr. Barron comments on Leaving The Church

I agree entirely, Father. All of my family, wife, adult children, siblings, have left the Church for various and sundry reasons ending in non-denominational mega-churches. As I reflect on the situation, however, I draw the conclusion that they did not leave "The Church" they left what was presented to them as "The Church" and, sadly, they had no contrary or correct example to rely on. What was presented to them was not "the Church" but a very much caricatured social club of sorts. Not many people have any spiritual tie to a social club. One becomes as good as another, whichever "feeds me" is the best.

For instance, my 30 year old son was treated to a clown Mass for his First Holy Communion in 1986. How "Holy" do you think he holds Holy Communion? About as Holy as the clown did. The high point was the throwing of candy into the pews where the communicants sat. He didn't leave Holy Mother Church because he didn't know what that is, he left this kind of goofiness.

I am a pre-VCII catechized cradle Catholic and could never leave the Eucharist or the Magisterium but could name any number of parishes which I could happily depart.

And there's the problem, until the Bishops demand faithful catechesis from every pastor and parish, souls will be lost from the Church and the grace which flows through her.

You are one of the true stalwarts in your many wonderful outreach efforts. I pray for your success daily.
12/9/2010 5:19:46 PM
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My difficulty with the Church at a local and diocese level is the sense of abandonment and neglect. I went through a period after Confirmation of drift and wandering. This was not falling away, when there was nothing to fall off. This was a decade of darkness, until EWTN and Fr Barron came into the virtual reality of cable television and internet seeking the stray. Unfortunately, the evangelization and catechisis here makes me feel angry, frustrated and suspicious of returning to the local parish. The sexual abuse scandal was perplexing because some in the hierarchy were giving advice or receiving advice according to secular expertise. Meanwhile, I was struggling with obsessions and compulsions, and nobody said anything about the faith and transformation of natural desires by grace. That was a confusing contrast between silence and poor guidance. Excuses were made, even blaming the culture; but my experience within the Church was silence. By analogy, if a restaurant (the Church) was not serving the meal (Eucharist), or else just offered a menu (Scripture) without understanding it, the guests eventually become hungry, and begin to search for love and meaning elsewhere. The Church then just looks like another voluntary organization, as Fr Barron mentions. Every other Christian denomination looks about the same, offering the same menu interpreted differently. Everything becomes subjective, and then everyone might as well read only the menu and cookbooks ie the Bible, without knowing the cook who can make the meal.
12/9/2010 5:46:06 PM
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"But she's still our Mother." That's what I posted on Facebook along with the clip. I pray for those who have left the Church to come back during Advent and Christmas. It is such a powerful time.
12/9/2010 7:25:09 PM
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I too read this article in Commonweal and was a bit disturbed.

I think I read somewhere that "we love the Church because we love Christ, not the other way around." If the Church really is Christ's Bride, then there is some degree of imperative to remain faithful.

On the other hand, I know that the experience of "sojourning" (leaving the faith, "experimenting" and realizing what priceless treasures had been lost) can, in the end, lead a sinner like me to return to the faith with a testimony. God doesn't give up on those who leave the Church, and neither should we.

With a deep devotion to the Eucharist - knowing that Jesus Christ LIVES in the Church - why would we ever think of leaving?
12/9/2010 9:43:44 PM
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Ed Basso
The first book De Lubac published after his period of silence was "The Splendor of the Church." The title says it all about his view of the Church.
12/9/2010 9:53:20 PM
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This is percisely the problem with the ambiguity of VII on religious liberty. The Holy Father would do well to clarify that people do NOT have a RIGHT to adhere to error. They only have the freedom to. This video gives a muddled reason based on guilt....'oh she's still our mother' or 'we have All the gifts'. No! We will be separated from the promises of Christ! Period. Say the whole Truth. Stop dancing around it because God has the power to save whom He wishes. Just because he can, doesnt mean He will. He gives us no indication he will save outside his Church. As a matter of fact, He says the opposite. He would not have set up a Church if we could reasonably be saved by other means. The Fathers of the Church would not have said one after another that there can be no reasonable hope of salvation outside the fold of the Church.

There is a reason the Catholic Church is often referred to as an ark. If by your faith you can walk on water... then you should have no fear of drowning. Thats how difficult it would be outside the Church. That is how much hope you could have to be saved outside the Church. Is it really worth mentioning that these other communities might have something that resembles a piece of the truth? No. Because it is not enough.

<i>"The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church. The Lord warns, saying, 'He who is not with me is against me, and he who gathereth not with me scattereth.'"</i>
<b>Cyprian, Unity of the Church, 6 (A.D. 256). </b>
12/9/2010 11:09:23 PM
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For the Life of Me I cannot understand how someone can empathize with one who leaves the Church. To leave the eucharist is to leave life itself. When i hear someone say they've left the Church I simply ask: "Do you mind walking away from the body of our Lord?"
12/10/2010 7:27:41 AM
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Pete's post reiterates the point that the Church in the American culture left the people, not the people leaving the Church.
12/10/2010 10:16:24 AM
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teomatteo, I agree with you entirely but in order to make a reasoned decision about leaving the Eucharist one must be taught what the Eucharist is. Is it a "meal from this family table" or is it "the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ"?

You and I would say the latter, but the CCD and most RCIA programs would say the former. Think I'm crazy? Check me out at your local parish. Check out the Sadlier faith formation series used in the CCD program in many places.

I was an RCIA sponsor in my parish for 3 years. First guy was a young fellow converting because he was marrying a Catholic. The stuff he garbage to endure was horific. You ever been to an empty plate or a hard rock prayer service? Not quite the rosary but ennervating none the less.

Second man was a 73 year old lifetime practicing Catholic who just wanted to be Confirmed. He was told to be there and pulled out of Mass before the liturgy of the Eucharist every week to "break open the word" with the other RCIA folks, I went to the pastor on his behalf. He knew 10 times more than the Director. They made him complete the course.

Third year was an 11 year old Catechumen, they wanted him to learn to use crayons to color bible scenes. When I objected and suggested reading about Daniel in the lion's den or young David charging into battle against the Phillistines in lieu of busy work I was politely asked to keep my yap shut. I guess the instructor thought 4 little boys in the group would be more interested in coloring trees than a real story about fighting a giant.

Anyway, you get my point. I was not asked to serve again after the 11 year old was baptised. That boy never learned what the Eucharist is. He didn't learn anything, he already knew how to color. So when he leaves the Church is he culpable for making a rational decision? I can't think that he is.
12/10/2010 5:28:39 PM
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An interesting and timely post Father Barron.

The night before I watched this video I had a conversation with my Mother who feels that she is justified in not supporting the Church because of the sex abuse scandal and the refusal to ordain women.

Coincidently, I have been reading the Catechism. I have just started the section on the Sacraments. In the first section on the Sacraments it explains that the Sacraments are "necessary" for believers. I intepreted this to mean that a Catholic should not abandon what has been given to him or her because it would be equivalent to turning away from the light. It is the turning away that is bad. Those non-Catholics who receive the grace of God are turning towards the light and the Church and with more of God's grace they will enter the Church.

Lastly, I would tell those Catholics who feel they can choose the parts of Catholicism they agree that they cannot. They are still bound to observe the same Commandments and to respect the teachings of the Church. Just because they left the building doesn't mean they are no longer under God's rule.

As for my Mom, I told her that she needs to develop her concept of God. Hopefully she will remember and respect the fact that the Church is still her Mother.

Please pray for my Me and Mom.

God bless
12/10/2010 5:49:22 PM
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I am a survivor of sexual abuse by a church member. For many years I wandered in and out of many places seeking the truth, seeking solace, seeking peace seeking forgivness. Today, by His grace, I am living a healthier life, but I am still human with all its failings. I am no different than my own neighbour who has his own problems hiding in the closet, whatever they may be. But for myself and how I am raising my children, is to attend church, to participate in the Eucharist. I am a stronger Catholic today than I ever was and growing stronger because I love and am loved by the Lord. I need to be part of the Church's healing and future. Let he who loves the Lord be healed. Because He forgives us let us forgive others.

Let this be the Church's message.
12/10/2010 9:55:58 PM
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michael jaffray king
God bless Pete Jim Meredith Anne Joe Ed Teo
Such useful comments... You all stole my thunder!!! Ha!!
Thank God for our Mother!!! Thank God for this Bastion of Truth, Word on Fire and for EWTN and I am sure there must be others too... But these stick out and have helped and are continually helping me to be on Fire and encouraging me and you all to be on Fire too.
Let's face it Our Church with all its imperfections which would have to include me the Imperfect one too, is Jesus' Church...He is still building it and it is still totally His and we have absolutely no legitimate excuse not to be 100% excited and enthused and involved with what Christ is doing.. Just looking at the examples listed above is enough to make one want to be extremely Thankful and to be Humbled and Privileged to be a part...
Thank God too for the Internet which enables us to learn so much from others and to pass it on in our daily lives and through this Heaven sent Media.
12/10/2010 11:25:24 PM
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The Church has the power to reconcile sinners to God. If one is reconciled with the Church one is reconciled with God. (See CCC 1445)

Why would anyone want to leave?
12/11/2010 8:24:03 PM
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The last time I checked, the teaching on religious liberty came out of the experience of persecution at the hands of atheistic regimes and Islamic fundamentalists. Why should the church behave in the same manner? Why not simply call people home?
12/11/2010 11:00:06 PM
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the Church is our
one mother who nurtures
and births us
into our second birth: heaven.
12/11/2010 11:07:50 PM
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Little Gal
As someone who left the Church and returned 'kicking and screaming' despite a tremendous grace from God to bring me back nearly ten years ago, I continue to struggle to remain in the Church. For myself,the essential reason for staying is my belief in the Eucharist. If it is true, that conversion is a continual process in our life of faith, I cannot fathom though why so little work is being done face-to-face in working with disaffected Catholics in addressing their issues. This work-in-the-trenches is sorely needed.
12/12/2010 11:42:43 AM
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Pete's comment strikes me as very much right on the dime. I have never been to a clown Mass, but my experience over the years at my own parish is of a piece.

The comment from Jim, that the Church left the people, and not vice versa, also rings sort of true to me.

But the modern culture has profoundly affected the will of the people (and the related intelligence, emotion and spirituality) to stay, notwithstanding their abandonment. And thus the people, and the culture, have much culpability as well.

I would amend Jim's comment to say that the Church has never really left the people, but some representatives of the Church—those who have been the "mouth" of the Church—have indeed left the people.

I continue to be very glad that Fr. Barron is dusting off the Church for all to see. It's still there, despite the efforts of many in the last 50 years to carry it away with them.
12/12/2010 3:27:21 PM
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Felice, your analogy is correct. See CCC 1683 and you will be surprised if you did not already know about this passage.

Little Gal I found your comment very interesting and insightful. I thought about this topic and I think the Church does have support for all us who going through conversion. Aside from Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist (as you mentioned) there is the Sacraement of Reconciliation. This sacrament is particularly helpful when we slip up during the conversion process. I think a problem I had with the Church teaching is that it uses a vocabulary that is no longer used very frequently anymore. If someone wants to understand Catholic teaching they have to spend a great deal of time reading. Even words that are used in ordinary speech usually have a much deeper and nuanced meaning when the Church uses them to explain some theological concept or idea. This is just my two cents but thanks Little Gal for being so honest with your issue because it helped me conceptualize a difficulty I have been encountering.
However, I don't mean to suggest the Church should change anything because as I believe the Church does do a good job defining itself. Although with that said I wouldn't mind being referred to a good reference book on Catholicism.
12/12/2010 9:28:52 PM
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One observation I would like to make, one I have noticed many times before, is the Catholic Church does not seem to have a true sense of Community. It seems to be more of obligation, get in get out, get it done. And the reason I am saying this is due to observations especially while attending other churches. In my area of Eastern Canada there is not a dense population. Many Catholic Churches have shut there doors while some Anglican churches have started community rotation. One thing I find which was very interesting is after their Sunday service there is a buffet that everyone is free to attend. Now I myself used to attend an Anglican church for a few years, even helping out in lay ministries, before coming back to the Catholic faith. The reason I came back was more doctrinal as I had a lot of issues, and still do, on their lack of direction and consideration of topics that really, should not be considered.

Recently my brother and his wife started to attend one of these rural Anglican churches, and we as a family got together at one of the churches to witness and celebrate his daughter's Baptism. Again there was another one of these buffets that everyone attended. It seems, at the base level, they tend to have this community organization down better than we Catholics do, something I wish we could do as well. This way I could know my neighbour better.

I still prefer Catholicsm over the rest but I sure would like to see more "Catholic social and cultural gathering" beyond just attending Mass.

To the reference of the clown communion, well, this is just sad. When I was a child I went to a Catholic school and it was probably the most enriching and influential period of my life. The whole event of First Communion back then was truly a social and cultural gathering which included the washing of our feet by the priests, just as Jesus did with his disciples. Almost 40 years later those memories still impress me and I long for them for my own children.
12/13/2010 4:36:30 AM
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Doubting Thomasina
Wish Father hadn't glossed over the homosexual problems because "they've been discussed ad infinitum." They've been discussed but not resolved for me and I am NOT gay. I do know that some 8000 intersex babies are born each year and the church never addresses the issue. If you can be born intersex why couldn't you be born a biological homosexual? And if there are Y-chromosome females, should they be allowed to be priests? I can't find any Catholic priest who seems knowledgable in these issues. At my last confession after I had been told that I must accept and follow all of the edicts of Holy Mother the Church to make a good confession, I related some of these doubts to my confessor who admitted ignorance but gave me absolution; my penance was to "pray for the conversion of Holy Mother the Church." Because of this and because of the Holy Eucharist I am still a life-long practicing Catholic but I still doubt some of Mother's teachings and still often get depressed when I go to Mass. Where is the Joy for me?
12/13/2010 9:10:32 AM
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Father Barron's recent WGN episode(December 12) had an interesting comment about the Church accommodating the culture rather than transfiguring it after Vatican II. This is especially difficult to understand for someone who was born and grew up after Vatican II. The Church has been said to have flung open its doors and windows to allow the world to enter it, particularly when before Vatican II the Church had a bunker behind the medieval walls mentality. That is a mystery to me, shrouded in the past. Fr Barron said that by time September 11 happened (and, I would hasten to add when the sexual abuse scandal broke) many Catholics were vulnerable, ill equiped to cope with the atheistic, prejudice, Englightenment backlash against religion. This vulnerability brings an image of Catholics having been stripped, even within the Church, of the faith gradually over 40 years. Young Catholics were not even transfigured by evangelization and catechisis. Faith was not lost going into college. That vulnerability from accomodation has brought confused suffering , disorienting resentment and mistrust.
12/13/2010 11:21:33 AM
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I have two questions for Doubting Thomasina:

1) If science found a gene that causes certain individuals to be more predisposed to steal should the Church change its teaching on stealing?

2) Doesn't the Church already recognize the frailty of human nature? Isn't that one of, if not the biggest point of the Church's teaching on why Jesus needed to convert us?

We all come with our own crosses - some, unfortunately, worse than others.
12/13/2010 10:14:07 PM
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I have one other thought I would like Doubting Thomasina to consider:

From the perspective of the flesh, there is no such thing as an "easy" Catholic life for anyone.
12/13/2010 10:54:22 PM
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John Madigan
Fr. Barron, Thank you for this article about Cathleen Kaveny's blurred vision. I was reminded of a quote from Cardinal Lustiger on a similar theme: "I am asking that we recognize not only the grandeur of holiness, but also - and it comes down to the same thing - the grandeur of the confession of sins and their forgiveness. In this light, it becomes possible to recall cowardliness and sins. Yes, it is abominable that certain Christian princes massacred the Jews! Yes, it is abominable that anti-Semitic themese were allowed to develop! Yes, it is abominable that innocent people were killed and persecuted! Yes, it is abominable that it was possible to abuse religion! Yes, it is abominable that Christians tried to impose religious acts that spring from personal freedom and can be accepted only in freedom! Yes, it is abominable that churchmen could ever think that recourse to political violence would allow them to attain the goal of evangelization to which they were dedicated! Yes, it is abominable that men are sinners!"
12/13/2010 11:14:44 PM
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I agree Tyler. Being born homesexual isn't the problem. Practising and attempting to justify homosexuality is. The same goes for hetrosexuals as well accept within the confines of matrimony which is bot a legal AND sanctified union. I have no justification of myself accept being justified by God. Attending Mass, participating in the Eucharist and receiving the transformed bread and wine expresses my faith in what God has done. Where else can we do this?
12/14/2010 12:06:37 PM
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Bruce Newman
I spent 31 years as a Protestant, mainly in charismatic-pentecostal settings. I was received into the Catholic church this year at the Easter Vigil. Time and space fail me to relate my journey to the Catholic church. Suffice it to say that, try as I might, I found continued existence in my former church life a frustrating feeding on ashes. I am still absorbing the Catholic experience and expect I will do so for some time to come. My wife has not made this transition with me and none of my friends or family understand why I've done this. All I can say for now is that I find much more joy and stability being able to take the Eucharist in a parish of people I don't know (like I did on a recent trip out of state) then I ever did attending "spirit-filled" services with worship menus that reflected the menu at McDonald's far better than it ever did that of the Holy Spirit. For you Catholics who have been in the church far longer than me, I tell you that you are better off taking a new look at where you are than traveling an often enticing but non-substantive Protestant amusement park. Believe me, I gave it a good shot before I ever thought of leaving. And when I did leave, being Catholic was never in my mind. That's just how it worked out.
12/14/2010 2:03:17 PM
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The comments by Mike making an amendment to my previous post are appreciated.
There used to be a movie franchise some time ago called "Home Alone", where the family (Church) rushes off to a vacation (social justice works in culture) but leaves behind the younger child (younger generations) in the house. Meanwhile, someone (evangelicals, advertisers, merchants) tries to break into that house (church), and the child has to improvise to protect himself. Thats the whole point of feeling vulnerable, exposed after having been stripped of the faith. This is not quite like having been mugged, as having been deprived. This is not having lost faith through the cultural car wash, as much as not having the athletic gear (Ephesians 6) to enter the field. So a person in that situation hides behind cultural trappings exhausted and distrustful of whether the local parish is reliable and compassionate to look for the lost coins in the cultural couch.
12/14/2010 2:19:40 PM
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Doubting Thomasina my previous posts did not include any courtesy or acknowledge the very positive compassion you displayed for your fellow human beings. However, I guess my point can be summarized best by acknowledging that our compassion is infinitely smaller than that of our Lord's and that we should confidently place our faith in his compassion and the Deposit of Faith that he left to his Church. I hope this comment is fair.
12/14/2010 6:49:42 PM
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julian jannise
as hard as i find the church sometimes,i find it harder to ever toy with the idea of leaving her, i remember an old quote from an old french dominican priest whos name escapes me, and every time i recall it i smile..."its better to suffer for the church, than to suffer at the hands of the church"...
12/14/2010 8:07:23 PM
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Little Gal
Of your many good points in your post...I wholeheartedly agree that the Church uses a vocabulary that we don't understand anymore. The words sacrifice,suffering and assent come to mind. I define assent for faith purposes as "yielding with love." I wonder how those who leave the Church would address the issue of assent (to Church teaching)?
12/14/2010 9:32:27 PM
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I have been a long time Protestant fan of this site and of Fr. Barron's books, but I must say I get riled a bit when he talks about Luther. Father, you get Luther wrong. Lutherans have a very strong sense of the necessity of the sacraments and the objective presence of Christ in the elements of the Eucharist. What you say about Luther really applies to non-scaramental Protestants like Baptists and Pentecostals. Lutherans never developed a subjectivist pietism like many Protestants have, mostly because Lutherans maintain a fidelity to the central place of the sacraments in constituting the church. (I mean orthodox Lutherans; one can find a variety of liberal Lutherans who deny traditional Christian doctrine, just like you can find liberal Catholics who deny Catholic teaching and yet remain in the Church.)
12/15/2010 8:14:32 AM
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I have been a long time Protestant fan of this site and of Fr. Barron's books, but I must say I get riled a bit when he talks about Luther. Father, you get Luther wrong. Lutherans have a very strong sense of the necessity of the sacraments and the objective presence of Christ in the elements of the Eucharist. What you say about Luther really applies to non-scaramental Protestants like Baptists and Pentecostals. Lutherans never developed a subjectivist pietism like many Protestants have, mostly because Lutherans maintain a fidelity to the central place of the sacraments in constituting the church. (I mean orthodox Lutherans; one can find a variety of liberal Lutherans who deny traditional Christian doctrine, just like you can find liberal Catholics who deny Catholic teaching and yet remain in the Church.)
12/15/2010 8:38:29 AM
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Bruce's comments are interesting to prompt further reflections on my family's relationship with the Church. I inherited the Catholic faith through my mother, grandmother and great grandmother, who brought the Catholic heritage over from Slovenia in 1913. My grandmother and mother's marriages were mixed American marriages, where the faith was a customary practice by my time. I can only gaze across a landscape of the 1970s to imagined world of Catholicism before Vatican II, when my mother, aunts and uncle grew up through the 1950s into 1960s. Today, my Uncle is the only overt religiously practicing Christian in some non denominational congregation. My mother is religiously indifferent. One Aunt was married in the Church, but now seems to tepidly practice the faith of her husband's traditional congregation associated with ethnicity. Another Aunt, who was my baptismal godmother, is strongly opinionated, and probably reacts against evangelical religiousity impinging on her liberated feminism. Religion and faith in America continues to be confusing and bewildering. I underwent Confirmation to please my family, especially when it seemed to please my grandmother; but, that confounds me into thinking about my uncle who was off practicing another brand of Christianity. When at my grandmother's funeral, a cousin admitted to me about never having been to a Catholic Mass before. I can imagine my Uncle was dragged to many so called long Massses during the 1950s. Such observations of the Catholic side of the family are so perplexing. Meanwhile, a neighbor has been trying to bring me to her faith community, which happens to change ever so many years like shedding religious wardrobes for the next style of worship. This makes a mockery of religion into some preference like tastes for restaurants. I have not much confidence in my faith to believe beyond subjective preference, because, if I were to make claims about Catholicism, I fear being dismissed as expressing my own preference rather than the truth. I hardly think the truth lays in the religious disarray protected by the First Amendment, simply because everyone is anxiously sensitive to the so called Establishment. Is that really the problem at this time in history? The world does not know the truth because the disciples are not one as Christ is one with the Father in the Spirit.
12/15/2010 9:45:05 AM
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Everybody, here is church today in our digital age (not to be confused with The Church). This came from my brother today:
12/15/2010 10:55:40 AM
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Bill J. Hughes
I try to focus on the central beliefs of the Church which Christ gave us and which are protected by the Holy Spirit: The Divinity of Christ, the Sacraments, Jesus' Mercy, The Virgin Birth, Offering Christ to the Father in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, etc. What happens in the politics of the Church, how a parish administration is done, really is in the far periphery and does not detract from the Truths of Christ.
12/16/2010 10:05:48 AM
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Hi Bill,

I was hoping you could clarify my own understanding of Lutheranism. My understanding is that Luther did not accept the entire sacramental economy embraced by the Church. For example, I thought Luther definitely opposed the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and the the Sacrament of Reconciliation (in particular the saving grace of penitential works)?

I would be interested to know the view of Lutherans on the Sacrament of Marriage, Confirmation and Annointing the Sick.


12/16/2010 1:28:48 PM
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Little Gal:

I found some other words or phrases that have lost much of their meaning in today's sciety:

1) Christian Ascetism; and
2) Animal passions.

With respect to the first phrase/words they have been reduced to simply Ascetism (for its own sake)and view thus viewed quite negatively. Our society has forgotten that simplying trying to follow a virtuous life involves some form of ascetism.

With regards to "animal passions"; well, our society currently believes that human beings do not have any and if we say that we do have animal passions we are being insulting of ourselves or nighbour and not truthful.

The Christian context has been lost.
12/16/2010 1:42:13 PM
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Dan T
Regarding Kaveny’s column about people leaving the Church, I wondered why denominations that advocate seemingly more progressive views too struggle with people leaving and the pews being empty? Is the issue facing the Church solely due to the ordination of women, same-sex marriage, and the causes Kaveny identifies with?

Of course there are more powerful worldly concerns and attractions pulling people from churches. Look at the shopping malls on Sunday or the numbers devoted to watching sports. Recently someone I know commented about missing church one Sunday because ‘little Johnny’ had a soccer game. So what is the priority in your life then?

“This work-in-the-trenches is sorely needed.”

I understand this and use to ask if the Church had something more for us adults. Why nothing after Confirmation. I realized though I would not get any where waiting for someone from the Church to jump in the “trench” with me. Our priest and bishops are human and have distractions to cope with too, so our work, our conversation in the trenches needs to be two-way so to show commitment to our pastors.

I think one way from us to address this need is to jump in the trenches off those burdened with poverty and sickness.

“the Catholic Church does not seem to have a true sense of Community. It seems to be more of obligation, get in get out, get it done.”

I see this too and struggle with the apparent obligation that drives our duties on Sunday, etc. Though we can’t wait for another to initiate our community experience. If this need is out there, then we are called to make the first step; called to take that big step.
12/18/2010 8:09:59 AM
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I'm not going to get drawn into the usual discussions and arguments about Protestant vs. Catholic visions of the church. I was making one simple point: Luther's private experiences did not create Lutheran theology. If it had, the Lutheran church would have a conversionist ethos like Baptists and others. It doesn't. Fr. Barron's point is accurate when applied to groups like Baptists. It doesn't apply to Lutherans. That's all I'm saying, and historically this is undeniable. Otherwise Fr. Barron is on target.
12/18/2010 9:15:01 AM
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As a cradle Catholic who, along with my husband, left the church for nine years and during that time became, along with my husband, Pentecostal preachers with our own church, I agree wholeheartedly with you video. We returned to the Catholic church in 2001 and have not looked back. To say the Catholic church enjoys the fullness of our faith is to me an understatement. Even with the problems that have surfaced over the centuries and still surface today, the Church itself has stood intact and unmoving in her teachings and guidance. I veiw my years away from the church as a time of wandering in the desert and of learning that what I was searching for I had along in mother church. Please keep putting your message out there Father for all the lost to hear.
12/18/2010 9:55:28 AM
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First, thanks for the video. I always enjoy your material. I will continue to pray for your apostolate.

I don't want to be too pedantic, but I am a little uncomfortable with you saying that one can have access to God's grace outside the Catholic Church.

Lumen Gentium 8 teaches that there are elements of grace and truth outside of the Church's visible confines but that they are proper to the Church and therefore impel toward Catholic unity. That is to say, wherever there is grace and truth they are the property of the Church because Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth and the Church is His body. The statement came off to me as logically implying that there is grace and truth outside of Jesus Christ.

It seems to me that emphasizing the truth that any grace received outside of the visible confines of the Church is still the Church's grace - because she is Christ's body - helps to reinforce the absolute necessity of the Church for salvation. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus quia extra Christum nulla salus.

Those are my thoughts.

12/20/2010 9:30:27 PM
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Most of the comments are amazing and to the point. Fr. Barron was making the argument that The Church is our Spiritual Mother (Baptism) we are reborn in the Spirit and so we only have one mother - even w/flaws and picadillos - Jesus Christ "willed the Bride" for us to be tethered. You can leave the Church and so "go to the desert" - where it will be hard (next to impossible) for you.
1/1/2011 10:41:25 AM
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Gene R-N
Any type of separation brings pain - the same pain can bring one to an awakening -like a birth of a child.

Is it necessary for one to go through the pain of separation to Mother Church to be able to see, feel, taste the death of oneself when one is cut off from the light of Christ?

Perhaps as painful as such separation and death can be it is through such in experience that one can discover a new way and a new life with Christ.
1/10/2011 1:18:27 PM
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Marc Cardaronella - The Real Truth About Grace and the Church With the Most
Pingback from Marc Cardaronella - The Real Truth About Grace and the Church With the Most.
Many Catholics are tempted to believe the Church is just one option among many. What is the real truth about God’s grace and where you can get the most?...
1/20/2011 1:12:22 PM
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Doubting Thomasina,
Probably would help you as it helped me to understand some of the complexities - Pray to the Holy Spirit and then read the Word of Jesus in Mt 19:1-12. The Lord Himself will reveal to you what you so need to know. Do not be depressed, Jesus came that we may have LIFE and LIFE in all its abundance. Yours in Christ.(By the way, I am Catholic)
7/10/2011 6:23:03 AM
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I left the church bcuz of the idolatry. praying to Mary is wrong and she doesnot take our prayers to Jesus;Jesus hears and answers our prayers. the RCC offers the Lord's Supper as an unbloody sacrifice of Jesus to the heavenly Father for the sins of the world, and this is wrong. the priests do not have all authority to forgive sin bcuz in the Lord's Prayers it says that we are to forgive as our Father forgives us; we meaning everyone. Jesus is the rock, the backbone of a bible believing church, Peter is not the rock. unbaptized infants who die do not go to Limbo, no where in the bible does it say this. purgatory does not exist bcuz Jesus took all punishment for all sin, His blood sacrifice forgives and pronounces bornagain saints not guilty to those who believe in His perfect sacrifice. there is so much more that the RCC teaches and believes in, it would take many pages to write them. Jesus has always been there and will always be there for me and my family.
5/28/2012 7:17:31 PM
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Bill J. H.
Interesting that non-catholics point out certain biblical phrases like when Christ taught us to say the Our Father. But then other phrases are denied, and these are phrases which include directives from Christ , for example "Thou art Peter ( Peter = Petros = Rock ) and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it." I give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, who sins YOU shall forgive, they are forgiven.... So if in the Bible it clearly shows that Christ gave the church the power to forgive sins...why deny this....? Why choose which statements to believe and which not to believe when Christ is the one who told us all these things....If you accept Him as Truth, then all He speaks of in the New Testament IS truth. Not just the truths we understand but all of them. And if Christ gives Mary to us as our Mother , which He did from the Cross, then we know it was for a good reason. Nothing Christ states in the New Testament was documented just for the sake of Him talking, everything He states which we read in the NT,, is of special spiritual relevance...given to us for a reason......
5/29/2012 9:18:40 AM
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Jeff DuBeau
If someone believes in the true presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, then I can't think of a good reason to leave.
8/1/2012 12:22:30 PM
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