Unfortunately, we’re reaping now what has been sown. Almost 50 years of confused preaching and teaching, faulty catechesis and less than clear moral guidance has produced a large number of Catholics who don’t understand what it is to be a Catholic, what it is to be a disciple of Christ. We all now must share in the suffering that is the result of such sins of commission and omission as we see our culture further deteriorate, and the challenges of raising our children and grandchildren in a Godly way of life increase.
But all of this is happening under the wise and just Providence of God. He has permitted the infidelities that have led to this point. He has always in the whole history of salvation given people what they choose, letting the consequences of such choices unfold in the hope that people will eventually, after severe chastisement, return to their senses and to the ways of the Lord. Or, at least, a remnant will. We need to trust that God has a plan for bringing good out of such evil. Perhaps the humiliation of seeing so many Catholics vote irrespective of the Bishops’ guidance will be another wake up call to how, as a Church, we need to “get our act together.” And, as the gap between the direction our culture is heading and what it means to be a Catholic is widening, this is really a “gut check” time for Catholics. We can’t straddle the fence anymore. Choices have to be made. Even if we are a smaller Church in some ways perhaps we will be able to give a more unified and more coherent witness to what faith in Christ really means, from which a new evangelization can be launched.
And of course, there are many signs that that is exactly what is happening. Never have I seen the American Bishops more united than they are in opposing the governmental attempts to require Catholic institutions and Catholic business people to provide insurance plans that violate our beliefs. For a number of years now, the Bishops have been working very hard to ensure that catechetical texts being used are now in harmony with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Moreover, the recently concluded Synod in Rome on the New Evangelization is another sign of hope. (As many of you know, I was appointed to participate in this Synod as an “expert.” My reports from the Synod can be found on the home page of our web site under the “Bulletin” section in the right hand corner, or by clicking here.)
For a good analysis of the current situation we are facing, take another look at Peter Herbeck’s excellent analysis in the November issue of our newsletter, which you can read by clicking here. We have gotten lot of positive feedback on his article.