What’s the deal with Catholicism? What’s the point? What’s the most important aspect, or the essence of the Catholic faith?
The Catholic Faith has always been focused on the Person of, and an authentic faith (orthodoxy) in salvation through Jesus — the Christ. This faith has always been juxtaposed against the otherwise prevailing cultures and wisdom of each age. Though true faith and practice may still exist among many Roman Catholics, they are in the midst of significant challenges under the pontificate of Francis. Francis’s admonition for the Roman faithful to “accompany” and “learn from others” (see Amoris Laetitia) has that Church abandoning historic moral teachings, and now, even embracing paganism — polytheism.
As a student of history, I can attest that the focus and polemic of Catholicism appear to have shifted over our two millennia history. From our humble beginnings following Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost, the Church began a process of defining itself in relationship to the teachings of first, the apostles, biblical writers, then the Fathers and early councils.
The Catholic church of the first millennium was decidedly different than what we have today. The sacrifices and sweat equity that those early believers expended in defining our faith was extraordinary—even heroic.
The predominant means by which the infant church utilized in forming doctrine and dogma never relied on just one man. No, following Apostolic example, church leaders, the bishops, met in councils. These councils were local, regional, and in regard to important issues, universal — where bishops would gather from all the nations in which the church was found.
Using this model, the church formulated the great creeds and doctrine that define Catholic orthodoxy. There were seven universal, or Ecumenical Councils in the first thousand years— before the Great Schism. These councils were rarely ever presided over by the bishop of Rome. Nor was it a requirement that the councils bow down to the papal party line. There were, in fact, Five ancient Patriarchies or seats of authority, Rome being one of them, is historically regarded as an elder brother, rather than a ruling father or final authority.
One of the earliest issues confronted by these fledgling believers was pagan cult worship. The early believers refused to bow down to graven images, defying both public and political pressures, even to the point of millions dying for their faith.
What has changed over the past two thousand + years that now the leader of the Church of Rome feels emboldened to bring pagan idols into their most Holy shrines, and to even chastise Catholics who object to his idolatry?
For nearly a thousand years, the Church of Rome has been on a slippery slope to destruction. This (IMHO) started out in the year 1054 when the Bishop of Rome changed the unchangeable — the Nicene Creed. It was at that point that the pope took it as his own authority to usurp a thousand years of tradition, overruling the canons of an accepted Ecumenical Council which had proclaimed the creed to be inviolable—unchangeable.
Some even lay a great deal of responsibility for inciting the Protestant Reformation at the feet of Rome — due to her admitted (see the council of Trent) error of selling indulgences (teachings developed in the 12th century).
Now in 2019, the Church on the Tiber is literally up the creek embracing paganism, with their pope, religious, and laity, literally bowing down before a canoe with pacha-mama, the Amazonian version of mother earth.
I’m imagining that our Lord, angles, and host of saints are grieving over the current situation. Thank God that a couple of brave souls had the courage to confiscate those idols and throw them unceremoniously off a bridge into the Tiber river.
Faithful Catholics must reject all attempts to “modernize” the church, based solely on public opinion and pressures to become more politically correct. Such attempts deny the spiritual nature of our faith. The Church has always believed that both Scripture and Apostolic Tradition to be inspired by God, therefore immutable and unchangeable.
Change for the sake of change, or to become socially acceptable has always been frowned upon in the Church. In fact, there are many admonition sin scripture to avoid false teachers, and those relying on their own wisdom — calling them fools. Feelings don’t change facts, and lies don’t become truth no matter how often or emotionally you repeat them.
Faithful Roman Catholics must ask themselves; “Is It Preferable to Be Wrong with the Pope or to Be Right with Tradition against Him?”
Pray for Pope Francis, pray for him to repent of his idolatry and heterodoxy. Pray without ceasing, then pray some more for those sheep who are blindly following him into perdition.
To whoever did this: Thank you! God bless you!
“For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens” (Ps 95:5).
“For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess 1:9).
“For the time past is sufficient to have fulfilled the will of the Gentiles, for them who have walked in riotousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and unlawful worshipping of idols” (1 Pet 4:3).
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 Jn 5:21).