Monday, October 17, 2011

Catholic Hypocrites

I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth
-- Ignatious of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

An army cannot have 10,000 leaders nor 1,000 nor even 100. Ultimately it must have one. There are right ways to win wars, but it seems for many people that those are the wrong ways, because they are difficult --- because people will die in wars. But those who would have “peace at any cost” fail to see that such a peace may result in even more dying, perhaps even everyone.

I read in the Catholic World Report magazine how 300 Austrian priests pledged to take part in a “Call to Disobedience”. They pledged to, among other things: Not deny the Eucharist to “believers of good will,” which may include anyone, to holding a “self-designed” Liturgy of the Word --- a priest-less Eucharistic celebration, to allow non-clergy to preach the homily, to oppose parish mergers but insist each parish have a “leader” --- man or woman, and to speak out in favor of married and women priests. These Austrian priests want to lead their flocks in the easiest of ways ---- “Where do you want to go? Okay, we’ll lead you there.” They would prefer to be liked by their flocks, to have this power over them, rather than to have to lead them into tough battles. (They wouldn’t have made very good apostles.)

That’s not leading, it is following, and it is following temptation. Eve led Adam to follow the easier route, “Why struggle to follow God; let’s be like God.” Aaron agreed to the Jews desire to worship a golden calf --- it was an easier route, for unlike God the calf made no demands on them. With Adam and Eve’s initial fall to temptation, all men were subject to these temptations. They feel good; they are the easy route, and even those who are supposed to lead us sometimes fall to these tempter’s wiles. And so often those who fall seek to justify their reasons, to make them seem as a good thing --- but they almost always forget to put a name to their actions: sin. No one wants to say what they are doing is sin.

Sometimes it’s harder for God to convert the preacher than those to whom he sends him to preach. --- Reniero Cantalamessa, in The Mystery of God’s Word

The “Catholic” governors of New York and Massachusetts are publically telling their bishops to tend to religious matters, while they tend to political matters, such as getting re-elected by promoting homosexual “marriage”. These governors want to lead the people where they want to go, to be married to their friend, or their child, or their dog if that is what they wish. If the people want it; these men will lead them to it. These Catholic governors are not leading, nor if they could be honest with themselves are they Catholic. Nor are the priests of Austria. None are in union with the Catholic Church.

“An honest, unaffected desire of doing right is the test of God’s true servants. On the other hand, a double mind, a pursuing other ends besides the truth … and a feeling of the necessity of defending oneself to oneself, and to God, and to the world; in a word, hypocrisy; these are the signs of the “merely professed” Christian.

They look upon themselves as independent parties, treating with Almighty God as one of their fellows. Hence, so far from seeking God, they hardly like to be sought by Him. They would rather keep their position and stand where they are, --- on earth, and so make terms with God in heaven. … Reasoning and argument is the mode in which he approaches his Saviour and Judge, … (and) stands on his rights and appeals to his notions of fitness, and therefore he goes about to fortify his position, to explain his conduct, or to excuse himself.”
--- Bl John Henry Neumann, Sermon 16: Sincerity and Hypocrisy

These priests and governors are not formed by the gospel, but by the world. These are men who would give incense to Roman gods, to get along with the people. They would never choose to be martyrs; it would be too hard for them to disagree with the masses. But Jesus never said it would be easy. And Jesus called them to their faces, such men who wish to appear religious but deny the hard truths of God, hypocrites (Mt 23:27).

“A hypocrite is one who professes to be serving God faithfully, while he serves Him in only some one part of his duty, not in all parts. The word is not commonly taken to mean one who uses a profession of religion as a mere instrument of gaining his worldly ends, or who wishes to deceive men into thinking that he is what he is not. (He is) one who, though his heart would tell him, were he honest with it, that he is NOT serving God perfectly, yet will not ASK his heart, will not listen to it, trifles with his conscious, is DETERMINED to believe that he IS religious, and protests his sincerity and innocence before God. … What is it that (they) lack? It is this: a willingness to BE changed, a willingness to suffer.”
--- Bl. John Henry Neumann, Sermon 17: A Testimony of Conscience

They would not be martyrs in a world which increasingly differs from the Christian message. They wish to be leaders and well liked by the flock, but leading the sheep where they wish to go, is not leading. Making themselves out to be shepherds, yet not acting in unity with the Church, they are merely lost sheep themselves.

All shepherds should therefore be one in the one good shepherd. All should speak with the one voice of the one shepherd, so that the sheep may hear and follow their shepherd; not this or that shepherd, but the one shepherd. All should speak with one voice in Christ, not with different voices. “Brethren, I beg all of you to say the same thing, and to have no dissensions among you.” The sheep should hear this voice, a voice purified from all schism, freed from all heresy, and so follow their shepherd, who says: “My sheep hear my voice and follow me.”
From a sermon On Pastors, by Saint Augustine, bishop


  1. I'm happy you enjoy my ramblings,. Jackie. I don't know how you found this wayside, but I am happy I found your blog. It seems at the right spiritual and intellectual level for me, and I shall enjoy some time going over your older posts.