and of Whose Fathers?
of our fathers, living still ... ?
the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?
more stunning, no more frightening, and
perhaps no more ominously portentous words are spoken in
all the Gospels, in fact, in the entire New Testament perhaps
even in the entirety of Sacred Scripture itself words that
fraught with significance with every passing generation. Indeed,
we must wonder if they are, in fact, spoken of this
generation ... or of one soon very soon, to come.
the Son of Man comes will He find Faith on earth?
with so many of Christs
teachings, the troubling question Christ puts to us in asking
if He will so much as find Faith upon His return
is too often and too deftly explained away especially by the
overwhelming number of the liberal theologians and bishops who
have proliferated and multiplied since 1962 which is to say,
learned and the wise.
It would appear that either Christ does not know what
He is saying, or we do not know what He is saying although
we all agree that He said something that sounds suspiciously
are twelve words, however, to which we must pay careful attention,
perhaps more now than at any other time in Church history.
reluctant we are to take Christ at His word which becomes
increasingly inconvenient to us we must recognize that
Jesus never spoke idly: His words, His teachings and yes,
His Commandments were always uttered
to one explicit end: the salvation of souls
attaining to Heaven and everlasting happiness and to avoiding
Hell and eternal misery. The Jewish religious authorities
of His own time had scornfully dismissed Christs
warning that not so much as stone would remain standing in the
great Temple 1 ... the very Temple within which,
70 years later, these words were fulfilled when Rome laid waste
in days what took 46 years to build.
We tend to view such alarming statements made by Jesus and
there are many with the same scorn and disdain today.
... what has become of the
of our Fathers?
mere fifty years ago we ourselves would have instinctively replied
course He will find faith! There simply must be some deeper,
some obscure and less evident meaning to this that we do not
presently understand and what He appears to be
saying, He is not really saying at all. Surely the
of our own day can deftly explain the answer to this troubling
question. In the end, they will conclude, Jesus is really asking
something entirely different from what He appears to be asking
and that it has nothing to do with our very real defection from
likely that many Jews of Jesus
time both the learned and the unlearned had replied in much
the same way. In fact, they did. 2
In other words, to us, our faith, the Faith of the Catholic
Church for two millennia, could no sooner disappear than ...
well, the stones of the great Temple 2000 years ago!
If, however, we take a careful inventory of our present and
undeniably dismal and increasingly scandalous situation in the
Church especially as it has unfolded in the last five
decades Jesus does not quite appear as ...
... as so many apparently make Him to be.
yourself the following:
the Faith the Catholic Faith indeed, has Christianity
itself, flourished in the last 50 years,
or has it withered?
vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life growing
Catholics (are Christians in general) having more
children or are they having fewer children?
Missionary efforts, to the end of (dare we say it?)
as mandated by Christ 2 encouraged
as intrinsic to Catholicism or are they discouraged
as impolite, obtrusive, culturally imperialistic and inherently
inimical to the
spirit of Vatican II
especially as interpreted by Pope Francis for whom
is solemn nonsense,
to use his own words?
it really the case that
to Christ and His Church is actively discouraged
that especially under Pope Francis it is no longer
understood as a holy and inherently necessary endeavor
rather than being disdained, even dismissed,
and culturally incorrect
indeed, has it really come to this: that promoting
our Catholic Faith as Christ has commanded us to, been all
but forbidden by Francis
of feckless and disaffected cardinals and bishops?
our understanding of the Catholic Church, as an absolutely
unique institution indispensable to the
ordinary means of salvation, emphasized as urgently today
(if it is emphasized at all) as it was a hundred years ago?
Fifty years ago? Indeed, is the concept itself of
the singularity and indispensability of the Holy Catholic
Church authentically deemed a dogma and a
viable concept any longer?
our insolence and equivocation, we know the answers,
and we are uncomfortable with them, for they fly in the face
of Christ and all that He taught to say nothing of Sacred
Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the Sacred Deposit of the Faith
entrusted to the Catholic Church by God Himself.
question takes on a greater sense of urgency, for the sheep
are scattered and confused as never before. The papacy of
Francis has been disastrous for the Church. Why? Because he
has taken Vatican II to its logical conclusion: the irrelevance
of the Church.
Ubi est Pastor?
is the Shepherd? Who is earnestly addressing this spiritual
malaise and religious decay, the indolence and dereliction of
the vast majority of American and European bishops who appear
far more eager for secular plaudits than the now quaint
and discredited notion of
salvation of souls.
Pope Francis has effectively declared this mandate defunct in
favor of the rehabilitation and sometimes transformation
of bodies, societies, economies, and the environment.
That the passing material environment of man is infinitely
less important than the eternal abode of his soul often
appears to elude Francis. Indeed, it appears to elude most Catholics
whose mantra increasingly coincides with the worlds:
Social activism! ... not interior conversion
away from this world and to Christ.
Shame! Shame on us!
our silence, our fear of being disparaged by
for the sake of Christ, we condone this travesty
are complicit in it ... even promote
it! What will motivate us to recognize, and to redress,
this frightful and ultimately deadly state of affairs?
are, after all, other contenders in this world for the
souls of men ... seen and unseen! As our own wick smolders,
others blaze! The burning Crescent of Islam, poised like a scimitar,
and every bit as deadly, glows and grows in the east, and with
it, not an ethnic, but a Religious Cleansing to
which the world remains indifferent an expunging of every
vestige of Christianity in partibus infidelium. Even
the European Union will no longer tolerate the inclusion of
its indissoluble Christian heritage within its Constitution.
Not only does it thoroughly repudiate its own Christian cultural
heritage it prohibits it even banishes it!
then, in our effort to remedy this impending state of dissolution,
we will first turn to our bishops, since they are, preeminently,
and Guardians of the Faith.
But more often than not much more often than not
in the well-appointed office at the end of the corridor we do
not find a shepherd of souls but a deeply sequestered, occasionally
avuncular, and predictably remote ...
his prime responsibility as Teacher
and Promoter of the Faith ... to others, in the form
of Lay committees and subcommittees largely
Catholics more concerned with social issues than the salvation
of souls, are we confident that the patrimony of our faith will
somehow percolate through this strata of already contaminated
soil and reach our children authentically and intact? Is our
fear mitigated ... or further exacerbated ... by our bishops
resolute lack of diligence in being attentive to
what Catholic colleges and theologians in their own
dioceses are really teaching and who are teaching
the teachers ... who, in turn, are teaching
Do you think that
your bishop actually that is to say, cognitively
is aware of, or even concerned with what the teachers themselves
are actually teaching?
this diocese. Not in Boston. In fact, Cardinal Sean Patrick
routinely fetes, praises, and holds up as exemplary the
who churn out our children to the Sacrament of Confirmation
with no clue whatever of that in which they are being
confirmed. By comparison, even the dismal failure
of our public schools in Boston must be deemed a stunning success.
of us especially in the Archdiocese of Boston, but no less
elsewhere the answer is, as they say, a
it is a universally resounding
Most of us find, to our growing dismay and deepening cynicism,
that our Bishops appear to have
things to do ... than to communicate the Faith to the faithful
... especially the children.
Really, we beg the question: if no one teaches the teachers
who, then, teaches the children? If they are not brought
the faith by those to whom it has been entrusted the
bishops, the episcopacy who will
bring it to them?
Will they how can they
acquire the Faith ... if no one brings it to them? Saint Paul
is very clear about this:
then shall they call on him, in whom they have not
believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom
they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without
a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they
be sent ...?
candidly: do you know more ... or less
... of your Catholic faith than your children? Very likely more
although, in all honesty, it is probably little. You politely
assent to the now quaint Catholic notion that
are the primary teachers of their children,
but knowing little of your own Faith, you simply shell out $50.00
per child and pan off this grave responsibility to others
of whom you know nothing, and who themselves largely know nothing
of the faith they presume to teach. You go through the
motions as careless of what your children are taught in their
10 years of
as your Bishop is of what the teachers teach. 10 years later,
and $500 poorer per child, you scratch your head and wonder
why Johnny still does not know God, and why Judy never goes
to Mass and yet we have agreed that you know more than your
What, then, we must ask with growing apprehension will
your children teach their children
What will they
who know even less than you teach those who know nothing?
as we see, is inexorable until it culminates in total ignorance:
every generation knows less of their faith than the generation
preceding it. It is, in the end, the devolution from doctrine
to legend, from legend to fiction, and from fiction to myth.
That is not just a poor, but a stultifying and ultimately
This default at every level in
transmitting the authentic Catholic faith intact
... leaves Jesus question very suddenly very real.
a Gallup poll was taken on Catholic attitudes toward
Holy Communion. The poll showed serious confusion
among Catholics about one of the most basic beliefs
of the Church. Only 30
percent of those surveyed believe they are actually
receiving the Body and Blood, soul and divinity
of the Lord Jesus Christ under the appearance of
bread and wine.
is more than mathematical, as we have seen; it is exponential.
70% of Catholics do not possess this most fundamental,
this most essential understanding of the core article
of genuine Catholic doctrine: that
you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood,
you have no life in you.
It is not just a matter of the greatest concern, but
nothing less than a matter of the gravest dereliction that
most Catholics do not realize do not know
that the very Mass itself is an abbreviation of
Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
and that it is really a Sacrifice,
the actual re-enactment of Calvary
before their very eyes!
This failure of understanding ... culminates
in a failure in Faith. It possesses, in significant
ways, the remorseless characteristics of mathematical certainties.
Not understanding, grasping having never been taught
the most elementary features of the faith, how can they be
understood to possess what they have not acquired, and how can
they transmit, pass on, what they do not possess? It is inescapable.
Prognostication, of course, is for fools.
words of Christ are certainties that will
come to pass.
not for Me, but for your children,
Christ told the sorrowing women on the road to Calvary.
Jesus question, then
the Son of Man comes will He find faith on earth?,
is not a
at all; it is a question fraught with enormous significance
... the frightful answer to which appears to be unfolding before
our very eyes but that is if you take
Christ at His word and given Jesus
track record on things yet to come, we would do well and wisely
to give pause for more than thought.
Are you worried now ...? Not nearly enough.