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“Teach this to your children”

 

Holy Bible


"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22.6)



When Catholics are not Catholic

 

It has become increasingly “correct” not only to ignore the past, but to repudiate it — even expunge it (except, of course, when the past provides fodder for grievances that may have once existed, were redressed, and are no longer authentic — in this sense it is the sine qua non of the intolerable liberal/progressive mindset — which is intolerant of any tolerance of intolerance …). What had informed us as a nation articulated in moral terms inseparable from its Christian origins has not simply become banal but abhorrent. “This is not the America we knew", we may say in any nostalgic discourse on the present state of this country. It is a different America that has become the symbolic and ultimately hollow statuary of an increasingly secular and  “liberal” America.

This especially pertains to the role of religion in the public polity … if it is allowed at all in public discourse — and increasingly it is not; and not just religion in general (as we find, say, in China and North Korea), but specific religions: Christian religions in general and Catholicism in particular. Islam — because it is feared by our politicians and policy-makers — is largely exempt and accrues to itself a special protected status much like the “protected-class” of homosexual citizens — against whom alone incivility is actionable, falling under the protection of special “civil-rights” not accorded other citizens.

That the official Catholic Church (as distinct from self-adulating liberal bishops, priests, Religious, and nominal Catholics) is the primary obstacle to many of the pernicious policies of this present administration is unmistakable. The Catholic Church is the sole moral impediment to the perversities (social, moral, and political) that are legislated against the American people. There are brave and uncompromising bishops and Catholics … but relatively speaking they are few.


52%

It is significant that up to 52 % of Catholics voted for Barack Obama and endorsed the platform of the Democratic Party in the last two presidential elections. This platform endorsed abortion, wide-spread contraception, the propagation of the homosexual (LGBT) agenda, the HHS Mandate that violates the most fundamental principle of the rights of conscience, radical feminism, judicial activism and legislation, embryo destructive research, human cloning, and rescinded (refused to enforce) the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) describing it as unconstitutional (in their opinion — I will restate that: in their opinion) … to name a few.

In so many words, half of all Catholics turned their back on their Faith in favor of popular social sentiment. Perhaps this is too broad a statement: let us say, rather, that those who identified themselves as Catholics did so — irrespective of their misinformed and deeply dissident understanding of their own Catholic Faith. That is to say, many of those who identify themselves as Catholic (those in accord with the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church) … really are not. This statement will infuriate these “Catholics” who bitterly (and illogically) contend that their Faith and their politics are separable; that the authority of the Church and the teachings of Jesus Christ do not extend to the political polls or, for that matter, to their own sexual lives; that there are civic and personal boundaries beyond which neither Christ nor His Church may trespass, and beyond which they possess no competent authority.

Just as there is a separation of Church and State in America, there is a separation of Faith and politics —and most fundamentally (and most illogically) a separation between Faith and the very articles and dogmas specific to it and which themselves inform it as a specific, a unique, religion distinct from any other. These “Catholics” are, we may say, “partly-Catholic” — they “agree with some, or few, but not all” of the Church’s magisterial teachings. They are Catholic in much the way that the new capitalist entrepreneurs in communist China are communist. That capitalism and communism are incompatible economic and political models does not appear to influence what they think and believe, let alone what they do. In what sense, we are forced to ask, are they communists at all if everything they do is predicated on what is clearly capitalism? A rich communist is the equivalent of a poor capitalist — or an atheist Catholic. It is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.


Catholics, Communists, and Capitalists

It is not that we fail to recognize this contradiction (logically we cannot), but that we deliberately refuse to recognize the incompatibility at all. It is, at best, a thin but resilient veneer much like the meniscus enclosing a bead of water upon a smooth waxed surface: were logic permitted to penetrate the social meniscus that supports this bead of otherwise mutually exclusive ideologies it would collapse under the artificial and unsustainable contradiction. By policy and a presumed social expedience we deny the needle of logic its due, even legislate against it, because it would be inconvenient to and incompatible with the purpose (the policy, really) at hand. There is only one way to reconcile incompatibilities: ignore them. That is the preference of 50% of Catholics at the polls: “I am a faithful Catholic, but in the way of social issues I am an atheist.” It is the same logic we see at work in China: “I am a faithful communist, but in the way of monetary issues and real estate appropriation I am a capitalist.” Wang Jianlin, originally of Sechuan, reportedly has $15.1 billion in assets. According to Forbes magazine, "China boasts a record 152 members of the 2014 edition of the annual Forbes Billionaires ..." 3 China is officially a communist country; indeed, the largest … and wealthiest. What of the dissonance between the official and the actual? We ignore it, insisting that China is a Communist country. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in America and the Chinese billionaires appear to have much in common. They are both among “the faithful” of their putative ideologies, however irreconcilable their conduct is with their ostensible professions (one political, “I am a committed communist … billionaire”, and one religious, “I am a professed Catholic Religious … Pro-abortion sister”).
 

Ignorance as the Propaedeutic to Policy

As we had said earlier, the only one way to reconcile incompatibilities is to ignore them. Of course, this is not reconciling them at all … it is merely methodologically suspending them. Acknowledged incompatibilities paralyze us. We can only move beyond them by suspending them. This, of course, is the implicit acknowledgment that we recognize them — and therein lays the guilt.

Even according to the scandalously liberal National Catholic Reporter (NCR):

"We found that half of adult Catholics (50 percent) know the church’s teaching regarding the real presence and half do not. We also found that close to two-thirds of adult Catholics (63 percent) believe that “at the consecration during a Catholic Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” 2


Upon reading a thoughtfully written article in Crisis Magazine titled Saving Catholic Culture from Destruction 1 by Michael Tamara, which I encourage you to read, three verses from Holy Scripture immediately come to mind — and one from a very early Church Father:

First, the Biblical:

  •  "Lay up these my words in your hearts and minds, and hang them for a sign on your hands, and place them between your eyes. Teach your children that they meditate on them, when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest on the way, and when thou liest down and risest up." (Deut. 11.18-19)
     

  • "The Lord hath sworn truth to David, and he will not make it void: of the fruit of thy womb I will set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep thy covenant, and these my testimonies which I shall teach them: Their children also for evermore shall sit upon thy throne." (Ps. 13.11-12)
     

  • "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22.6)

And from Saint Ephraim the Syrian (306-373 A.D.):

  • "Do nothing at all without the beginning of prayer. With the Sign of the living Cross, seal all your doings, my son. Go not forth from the door of your house till you have signed the Cross. Whether in eating or in drinking, whether in sleeping or in waking, whether in your house or on the road, or again in the season of leisure, neglect not this sign; for there is no guardian like it. It shall be unto you as a wall, in the forefront of all your doings. And teach this to your children, that heedfully they be conformed to it."

The admittedly lengthy preface to this article has been articulated simply as a preface to a much more important issue, a fundamentally deeper issue that Holy Scripture — and Saint Ephraim — brings to relief. It is an issue of failure, specifically the failure to hand on, to deliver (tradere) Sacred Tradition, together with the unequivocal dogma and indisputable teaching authority through which it was articulated.


Resolute Refusal

Let us be absolutely simple: since Vatican II, Catholics have not just failed to hand on, to deliver, their Catholic Faith to their children — they have resolutely refused to. They had lost the Faith, retained a diminishing similitude to it, churned their children through useless and often heretical CCD and Catechetical programs in which they learned nothing of it, and flocked to the polls to support every issue contrary to authentic Catholic teaching. They had pre-marital sex to which their parents turned a blind eye or simply winked, and then had the abortions that followed. Abortions require abortuaries and necessitated the abattoir, the slaughter-house, of Planned Parenthood — which then took the responsibility which you had abdicated to teach your children, and subsequently taught them everything … including every sexual perversity … from primary school on.

You simply paid the money to psychiatrists and psychologists to help your children sort out a sexual identity crisis that would never have existed had you done your work and kept your Faith instead of leaving it to the government and NGOs. When your children committed suicide you scratched your head and wondered why … when they developed incurable STDs you paid for the prescriptions; when they had abortions, you drove them there … and comforted them with lies that their lives would be the same. And if you lived long enough to be “could-have-been-grandparents”, you may have watched your daughter fall into irrecoverable depression in the prime of her life ... and you may have even waked her at your local funeral parlor. You were “correct” … and she correctly died. You may have grandchildren you know nothing of because you told your son that condoms were the answer to the question you did not have the courage to answer forthrightly. Or perhaps he acquired AIDS from another man or women, or both — because sexual promiscuity is “correct” in your culture, or the culture you ruined, and after looking at the mess, dismissed it altogether with all that had once accompanied it and was noble and good and demanding.

You brought ruin to yourself, and now you bring it to your children that all may equally perish. Wasn’t it all about “equality” anyway … “acceptance” and “tolerance?” When you decided that there was nothing that was “right” or “wrong” … only “different” and “acceptable”? Consequences? What are they? Haven’t we genetically engineered them to our liking yet? And there is, after all, no God, you arrogantly proclaim — until you hope that there is when you or your children die.

These are harsh, severe sayings; cruel pronouncements, you say? They are far less cruel and infinitely less harsh than realities that will come to your door — unless you teach your children as Holy Mother the Church once taught you before you despised Her in your arrogance and vanity; perhaps as cruel as the government and social correctitude that brought you to the sad state in which you find yourself today.

When you lost God you lost everything. Everything. Your children, your country, your freedom, and ultimately your soul. This is the cruelest consequence of all.

But you are “enlightened”, “educated”, “progressive” … an “intellectual” — aren’t you? And these are the things of children. Yes? Would that they were only of children ….

 

The Remedy

Oh, yes! The remedy! Teach your own children better than your parents had taught you. Teach them authentic Catholic doctrine, and not the prevailing and perverse social sentiments that will poison their minds, depredate their bodies, and cost them their immortal souls. You may have lost yours already. But give your kids a break. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22.6) … the way that you did.


Editor
Boston Catholic Journal




1 http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/saving-catholic-culture-from-destruction?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29
2 http://ncronline.org/news/catholics-america/knowledge-and-belief-about-real-presence 
3 http://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2014/03/03/2014-forbes-billionaires-list-growing-chinas-10-richest/ 
 

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